Canton resident Ryan Carpenter beat the odds but is afraid others like him may not.
The 32-year-old marketing consultant is encouraging people to participate in this Sunday’s Boston Brain Tumor Walk to raise awareness of the deadly disease that once took his life.
In 2012, at age 31, Carpenter began to suffer from double vision and doctors found a mass on his brain. He was diagnosed with Grade 4 glioblastoma, a highly malignant cancerous tumor that could reproduce quickly.
“Only one out of three adults diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor today will be alive in five years and more than 14,000 people will die because of the disease this year alone,” Carpenter said in a written statement. “In 2012, at age 31, I could have become one of these statistics.”
Over the next several months, Carpenter underwent three brain surgeries (one to retrieve a sample of the tumor, another to install a shunt and a final surgery to unsuccessfully attempt a removal), 42 days of radiation and an aggressive course of chemotherapy which Carpenter said “took its toll” on his body.
“Today, three months post treatment—and thanks to the tireless work of my physicians and the ongoing advances in brain tumor research and treatment—I’m thrilled to say that I beat the odds,” Carpenter said. “I feel great and am getting back to the things I love, including outdoor activities like hiking the Blue Hills with my wife, attending sporting events and traveling.”
Carpenter, who has lived in Canton for the past six years with his wife, Cheryl, now looks for ways to support brain tumor research.
He volunteers as a member of the Boston Brain Tumor Walk, which will be held Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at Carson Beach near Castle Island. He will be leading, the “Carpenters Crusaders for a Cure” a team of family and friends with a goal of raising $2,500 to support brain tumor awareness, research, and, ultimately, to help find a cure.
“The sad reality is that despite the high incidence of brain tumors in this country, there are, currently, only four FDA-approved drugs available to treat the disease,” he said. “There is much more work still needs to be done, but I am living proof that it’s a battle worth fighting.”
Carpenter encourages people to walk or raise money this weekend.
To learn more about the Boston Brain Tumor Walk, register to walk and/or donate, please visit:www.BrainTumorWalk.org/Boston.