A Massachusetts community is rallying around a beloved father of two who is facing long odds in his second battle with a deadly form of brain cancer.
According to a GoFundMe campaign, Ben Goodhue first battled Grade IV Glioblastoma – a rare form of brain cancer that kills more than 10,000 Americans a year – in early 2017. The popular teacher at Beverly High School was able to beat the cancer into remission, which gave him additional time to see the birth of his first daughter, Maggie, and his second daughter, Charlotte, a few years later.
But during a scan last year, Goodhue and his wife Sarah received tragic news – the cancer, which has no known cure, had returned.
“Both Ben and Sarah dug their heels in, leaned on those around them and put their faith in God,” a description on the donation page reads. “Along the way Ben suffered two seizures with the second leaving some residual damage.”
Goodhue underwent another surgery, along with chemotherapy and radiation treatment, in the hopes of beating the cancer a second time. While he worked hard to keep up his physical health, it was clear he wasn’t improving as the weeks passed by.
“Doctors’ visits revealed that the regression was due in part of the tumor and this was the path of the disease and furthermore, there was nothing more doctors could do,” the GoFundMe organizers wrote.
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“Our hearts break for Ben, his wife Sarah, their daughters Maggie (3) and Charlotte (1) as well as all of their extended family, friends, students, colleagues and community Ben and Sarah have influenced over the years,” they added.
A November update to the family’s Facebook page, GoodhueStrong, said Goodhue started immunotherapy to help him in his battle.
“As always, Ben’s little cheerleaders were there with open arms to embrace their hero,” the update reads. “If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.”
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Treatment for glioblastoma, also known as GBM, often involves surgery to remove the tumor (if possible), followed by radiation and chemotherapy.
There are also a number of clinical trials available, but some may be “blinded,” meaning the recipient does not know if they received an actual drug versus a placebo. One medical device, Optune, has shown positive results in slowing the tumor’s progression but requires patients to wear the device on their heads daily.
The family’s GoFundMe has raised nearly $43,000 as of Friday evening.
“As you can imagine, this is a very trying and emotional time for the Goodhues,” organizers wrote. “Ben and his family need our help and support once again. Please take the time to support Ben and his family – both with a donation and a prayer.”