Sam’s Story: From Brain Cancer to Marathon Runner
A ‘See It With Us’ Story
Sam began experiencing focal seizures when he was 16 years old, without knowing why. Things like deja vu and difficulties in recalling words became a daily disruption, leaving Sam with so much uncertainty.
After spending six years searching for an answer to no avail, Sam began to run — where he found peace, solitude, and hope in the repetition of his strides.
Shortly after, at 22 years old, Sam had a massive seizure and was diagnosed with brain cancer. After years of misdiagnoses and ill-suited treatments, he was thankful to finally have found clarity at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Forging a New Path
Facing brain cancer surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering, Sam surrendered control. He then underwent chemotherapy and radiation. While his recovery was difficult, his desire to run again never faded.
Slowly but surely, Sam returned to the trails he had once run alone. This time, he was alongside his father, who also shared a passion for running. It was Sam's father who introduced him to Fred's Team, MSK's marathon program. Together they raised money and awareness, and ran the NYC marathon side-by-side.
Sam Wasn't Done Yet
Inspired by the connection he felt with the MSK nursing staff who had shown him so much compassion during treatment, Sam started school to become an oncology nurse and is currently working towards his degree. In combination with funding cancer research at MSK through Fred's Team, it was the perfect way for him to give back.
Nearly five years after his diagnosis, Sam was given a clean bill of health. Sam is still committed to running with Fred’s Team — so he can continue to help advance research at MSK and improve the lives of people with cancer around the world.