A Hawaiin triathlete, husband, and father has chosen to show a terminal cancer analysis right into a purpose to stay life to the fullest. His tenacity is inspiring not solely his household and medical doctors but additionally folks far and huge.
Over a yr in the past, Colin Clark, who lives on Hawaii’s Huge Island of Kailua-Kona, was blindsided by a analysis of sort 4 glioblastoma, essentially the most aggressive mind tumor a affected person can get.
Earlier than his November 2019 analysis, Clark had been experiencing some twitching in his left hand and, at occasions, the identical hand would slip off a desk, in response to a statement by Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.
After a seizure, Clark, 58, and his spouse, Natascha, went to a hospital on the island of Waimea; medics then referred him to Oahu.
Nevertheless, when medics came upon that “one thing was fairly critical,” the couple was referred to Cedars-Sinai Hospital; the medical doctors identified Clark with a stage 4 mind tumor.
Clark was involved for his spouse and daughter, Nadja; he even contemplated “end-of-life choices” to alleviate the burden on his family members.
“Once I first realized I had terminal most cancers, I contemplated forgoing therapy and opting-in to end-of-life choices,” Clark stated within the Cedars-Sinai assertion.
“The very last thing I wished was for my spouse of 26 years or my 25-year-old daughter to care for me whereas I lay in mattress sick and dying.”
But, along with his medical doctors’ assist, Clark determined to pursue a partial tumor elimination, adopted by radiation and chemotherapy. He responded effectively and his tumor started to shrink, radically enhancing his high quality of life.
“I used to be wheeled into rehabilitation, however once I left three weeks later, I walked out of the power,” Clark stated.
Claiming to have all the time been a optimistic, energized particular person, Clark took medical retirement from his job as regional vice chairman of the 4 Seasons lodge franchise to prioritize his restoration.
Day by day and each small victory mattered, even one thing as seemingly small as placing on his personal socks.
“I made a alternative to make use of what time I had left to take advantage of boundaries and construct communities,” he stated. “For me, this implies encouraging and galvanizing different sufferers to present life every thing they’ve.”
Based on the American Brain Tumor Association, Sort 4 glioblastomas signify roughly 15 % of all major mind tumors and are barely extra frequent in males than girls. The tumor cells reproduce and divide rapidly, invading close by areas of the mind.
Dr. Jeremy Rudnick, director of neuro-oncology at Cedars-Sinai, marveled at Clark’s development. Rudnick, who labored intently with Clark, praised his affected person’s upbeat tackle life.
“His spirit is exceptional, and his grit is plain,” Rudnick stated within the assertion. “Colin went from bed-bound to collaborating in 5K races.”
After an immense rehabilitation, Clark was in a position to return residence to Hawaii and his favourite out of doors pursuits: swimming, biking, working, and mountain climbing. He additionally embraced new hobbies, akin to cooking and gardening.
Over a yr since his analysis, Clark says he’s excited to be alive. An ongoing therapy plan displays the dimensions of his mind tumor.
In a documentary titled, “Half the Speed, Twice the Fun: An Adventure of Encouragement,” Clark shared his dream, “that we will all assist one another, gaining power and encouragement.”
“Nicely should you simply go by statistics, he shouldn’t be right here,” Natascha says within the documentary. “However the reality of the matter is that Colin’s willpower in every thing he has ever touched in his life is of such power and keenness that, if anyone can do it, he can.”
Clark has already registered for the following Hawaii Ironman 70.3 problem in 2021.
Arshdeep Sarao contributed to this report.