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Ivy Blog

International Glioblastoma Patient Celebrates 10 Years of Survivorship

Being that the survival rate of glioblastoma is just 15 months, Mario Correa, a glioblastoma patient, continues to beat the odds in his fight against brain cancer

During a hot summer month in 2010, Mario Correa started to experience trembling in his left hand, bouts of drooling and severe headaches. Being young and active, he knew something wasn’t right and decided it was time to seek professional help. When Mario found out what was causing his symptoms, it was in that instant he knew his life would change forever. He had glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

Turning to Brain Tumor Experts

Diagnosed in Mexico, Mario was swiftly referred to Dr. Nader Sanai, director of the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and neurosurgical oncologist at Barrow Neurological Institute in the United States. After the diagnosis, Mario felt a variety of emotions, understanding the severity and fast action needed to take care of his health. “I was worried about my future and the safety of my family. I felt very afraid of not surviving the surgery or being left with severe permanent damage that would prevent me from continuing to work and be independent,” explained Mario.

Using intraoperative stimulation mapping techniques, Mario’s tumor was completely resected by Dr. Sanai. Following surgery he received 32 radiation therapy sessions and a 14-month chemotherapy treatment. Throughout his treatment journey, Mario has always spoken highly of the kindness provided by his team at Barrow.

“While at Barrow, I received excellent attention and everyone was very professional and very human. I highly recommend them to anyone facing a brain tumor diagnosis and in fact, over the years we have referred several people who have approached us for advice.”

Beating the Glioblastoma Survival Rate Odds and Counting His Blessings

Mario, a glioblastoma patient, with his granddaughter
Mario, a glioblastoma patient, with his granddaughter

Mario, who resides in Mexico and is the owner of a company dedicated to the design and equipment of parks and public spaces, continues to live a vibrant life doing the things that he loves like reading, listening to music and enjoying the outdoors. A family man with a wife of over 35 years, three daughters, one son and new granddaughter, Mario’s time with his loved ones is even more precious now as a glioblastoma long-term survivor.

“My family and friends were very concerned about what the aftermath of the surgery would be. We went through very difficult times during treatment, but thanks to the talent and excellent treatment of doctors Nader Sanai, David Brachman, and William Shapiro and their medical teams, I have allowed myself to enjoy these 10 years of life watching my children grow and become good people. One of my greatest gifts is having become a grandfather to a beautiful baby girl.”

Discovering Hope for Glioblastoma Patients

Since hitting his three-year milestone, Mario goes in for checkups every six months. Now, ten years later with no tumor regrowth, Dr. Nader Sanai reflects on how fortunate Mario is to be alive today when facing such a deadly disease and the hope so many other patients and their families are desperately seeking.

“It is always incredibly rewarding to know patients like Mario when such momentous milestones are hit following a glioblastoma diagnosis. Unfortunately, stories like his are not what we hear every day,” Dr. Sanai explains. “That’s why we established the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, where our Phase 0 clinical trials program is designed to address the unique complexities of this disease. We are rapidly testing new, targeted therapies that show great potential with an end-goal of providing patients with individualized and effective treatment options.”

To learn more about Ivy Phase 0 clinical trials, visit ivybraintumorcenter.org/phase-0-clinical-trials or contact an Ivy Navigator today at 602-406-8605.

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Ivy Center