My B.R.A.I.N. Experience

By Dylan Trumbull

AM2The last thing a 22-year-old guy who just graduated from college and returned from internships in Europe expected to hear was that he had a brain tumor. On October 29th I went to the doctor for headaches and the next day, following an MRI, I got a phone call from my doctor telling me I had an Ependymoma tumor in the left, fourth ventricle of my brain. So my journey begins and off I go to Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona. Two weeks later I had brain surgery that was followed by two months of rehab and oncology in Arizona. Now six months later my tumor is gone and my recovery journey has been an adventure.

An important part of my recovery and journey has been going to B.R.A.I.N. My B.R.A.I.N. involvement has included speech therapy, yoga and FBI. Going to B.R.A.I.N. has been a very positive experience for me as I feel like it is a safe environment for me and the others in the group. Every week at B.R.A.I.N. you have the opportunity to learn something that can directly help survivors. FBI on Tuesday nights is a place where survivors, caregivers, family, friends and those that want to be in related fields come together and learn from each other’s experiences. My recovery and journey would not be the same without B.R.A.I.N. and I am so thankful to have been involved in the different activities at B.R.A.I.N.

My experience has made me a different person who tries to look at the positives in this situation and not all the negatives. My life has certainly changed since my brain surgery, but being upset all the time is not going to help my situation. My experience has given me a different perspective on life. I now look at my brain surgery, TBI, rehab and recovery as an adventure. Although I didn’t plan on this when walking across the graduation stage at Chapman University, I am positive, I am getting prepared and I am making plans for the future, and it is bright.