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A Success Story - Bradley Grobbel

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Bradley Grobbel

       Brad is attending Oakland Community College and Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Michigan, majoring in Mathematics with Secondary Education.  Brad's battle with cancer has helped him discover a passion for teaching and the desire to become a positive difference in the lives of tomorrow's youth.   He has survived Pineal Region Germinoma (Brain Tumor).  In his own words:

It is odd to say that when near-death experiences arise in life, it brings you closer to life. Whether it is a car accident, a death to a loved one, or the diagnosis of cancer, in the end, people all have the same humbling reaction that life is something that needs to be respected more.  I have read many success stories regarding people surviving their cancer, about their struggles, hardships, and successes.  There is always one thing in common with all the stories—that they wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.  There is a reason for this...

Cancer does something to you when it’s over, not physically but mentally. It is a new reformed, positive mindset that you can only find when you go through a tough situation in life.  Just like all the others, I felt I came back stronger after my cancer was over.  I came out with a better attitude, more patience, acceptance, and an awareness that I will never figure out life and that I should never try to.  For me, life is now about going with the flow and learning to trust that the experiences I am going through are for a reason: to help make me better off then I was otherwise.

It’s refreshing to look back on my cancer surviving accomplishment—and to just slow down and let God take me on His path and to accept life for what it is.  Strangely, there are times I wish my cancer would come back, so I may be humbled again.  This world is almost designed for routine, and at times it sadly praises bad behavior.  It is easy to get sucked into routine and forget about the fragileness of life.  It’s easy to forget where I came from, to forget everything I learned and everything I fought for.  I know if I ever got cancer again, that I would remember everything I learned and more.  I know life would come to be even more precious than I ever knew before.

As far as my career goals go, my cancer journey was filled with a wide variety of caring people who helped me mentally get through all the ups and downs of this disease.  The sympathy and passion from my doctors, nurses, family, friends, and strangers that I had was extremely comforting, and it helped me tremendously with the decision of my career.  All of these people that assisted me with my treatment motivated me to be as motivated as they were when I got older.  I believe it’s exceptionally important to be passionate in the career field you choose.  If you’re passion is within your career, then you will challenge yourself to be the best you can possibly be.    

I have seen this passion firsthand with all of my physicians.  I could tell they tried their hardest to help and cure me throughout my cancer treatment, from beginning to end.  All of their words of encouragement and their simple  companionship made living through cancer possible.  These people in my life helped me realize that I want to be in a field that helps people hands on, just like every person that helped me hands on.  I have decided to pursue a degree in education, where I have found that my passion and love resides in teaching.  I can only hope to feel as motivated and helpful as the ones who have helped me through my cancer experience.  I want to be that helping hand and to be a positive part in an adolescent’s life. I know that I will try my hardest to show the kind of compassion and kindness in everything I do and with every person I meet, just like what was shown to me during my time with cancer.

I have volunteered at the Season's Hospice, retirement homes, fundraisers, tutoring, summer camps, and playing guitar for the Youth Group Youth Mass at my local church.

The cancer battle is such an up and down emotional experience.  One day you’re up and feeling optimistic, and the next you feel as if all hope is gone. Being in that quick changing and inconsistent lifestyle for five months helped me realize that when I’m feeling discouraged in life, I can let myself know that I won’t be feeling down for long, and that tomorrow will be a better feeling day.  It was such a negative experience, but it turned around to be extremely positive, and my value of life has never been the same since.  Getting a second chance at life made life so much holier than before and I’ve learned to live through forgiveness and to keep moving forward in everything I do. 

Thank you Cancer Survivors' Fund for helping me pursue my education, on behalf of myself, my family, and all of the future youth whose lives I will have the opportunity to improve.”

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