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Ivy Blog

Going Coast to Coast for Brain Cancer Research

When Dr. Joe Tedesco and his wife moved to Kingman, Arizona with their young family, they quickly formed a friendship with their neighbors, Bonnie and Dick Tomlin. The Tomlins had young children of their own, so the two families spent a lot of time together and grew very close. Throughout the years, they supported each other through everything, both the good and the bad. 

In February 2015, Dr. Tedesco received devastating news. Nate Tomlin—a boy he had watched grow up into his late twenties—had been diagnosed with glioblastoma. The most common, and deadliest, malignant brain tumor, patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) have an average five-year survival rate of less than five-percent. When Nate first received the diagnosis, he was only given three to six months to live. Despite the grim prognosis, Dr. Tedesco was ready to fight alongside Nate and his family every step of the way—and he did. 

Dr. Joe Tedesco

He was there for them when Nate was told he had to find a neurosurgeon to remove as much of the tumor as possible; when they found Dr. Kris Smith at Barrow Neurological Institute, who successfully operated on the tumor; and when Nate suffered a stroke caused by a blood clot and had to go through intensive neuro-rehabilitation. He was also there when Nate finally passed the six-month mark and married the love of his life, Megan, starting a family of his own shortly after.

Dr. Tedesco says that he has been continually amazed by Nate’s strength and optimism. “Nate has been so impressive with his outlook and his attitude. Despite everything that he was going through, he kept on smiling and encouraging others to be positive too. He hasn’t let this disease defeat him. That is truly incredible.”

The cross-country bike path that Dr. Tedesco is taking in honor of Nate Tomlin
Dr. Tedesco’s route across the US

In honor of Nate and his courageous battle with GBM, Dr. Tedesco has decided to bike across the country to support the innovative research at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow. He will start his ride in early May from Santa Monica, California and end around late June in Boston, Massachusetts—spanning a total of 3,300–3,500 miles over eight weeks. “This type of ride is something that I have always wanted to do, and Nate is always in my thoughts, so I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than doing this in his honor,” he says. Through his ride, Dr. Tedesco hopes to inspire others to do something to honor a loved one with brain cancer. You can support Dr. Tedesco’s bike ride for brain cancer research here

Observed during the month of May, Brain Tumor Awareness Month is right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to start raising awareness for brain cancer research. Creating your own fundraiser is a great way to join the fight against brain cancer and to share the groundbreaking work of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center at Barrow with your family and friends. For example, you can do something like running or walking a mile a day, holding a car wash, or dying your hair at the end of the month. The opportunities are endless! For more ideas on how you can launch your own fundraiser for brain cancer research, check out our blog post

Keep up with Dr. Tedesco’s ride by following him on Instagram: @drtedj.

This story is for general health information only and is not meant to be used as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your physician or healthcare provider before beginning any treatment protocol or with any questions. This story reflects the health status of this particular patient at the time the story was written and photographs were taken. The patient’s condition may have changed over time.

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