Voting Ends 5/30/2024 at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time

I Thought I was Loony Tunes but it was a Brain Tumor

I Thought I was Loony Tunes but it was a Brain Tumor

125 votes

Fundraising Goal

Raised $125
Goal $25
Kathleen McCabe

Brain Tumor Type

Date of Diagnosis

Participant Group


Artist Statement (include type of art, techniques & materials used, what it means to you)
materials: commercial cottons, embroidery floss, batting, thread, beads
techniques: machine pieced. Machine and hand applique, machine couching and quilting

This quilt is a tribute to a dear friend Chris Simpson, diagnosed in his 20's while he was dating my daughter. This story is told in his words on a website that he created . Chris had many more years than expected, purchased a small home and renovated it, and was able to visit Machu Picchu, a life long dream.

Artist Bio: Tell Us Your Story
Glioma Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma
(baseball sized malignant grade III cancer tissue)

It is odd how our bodies tell us there is something wrong when we are sick. I started getting frequent headaches. At the time I thought it was the stress of a 70 hour work week. And ‘episodes’: that feeling when somebody walks into a room and you don’t see or hear them, but you just sort of know that they are there? I began having that sensation on what seemed to be a daily basis… it wasn’t just somebody walking in the room, it was cartoon characters– I’d be at work or at the gym and I’d get this sensation that Daffy Duck or Beavis were in the room with me.

In 2002 I lost consciousness during a pretty horrible headache (no Bugs Bunny this time) and was admitted to the hospital. Doctors said it was some sort of “un-diagnosable virus”, told me to wait it out, and sent me back to work.

Over the next few months my headaches got worse and my ‘episodes’ got more frequent and intense. Now I was starting to get nauseous and would feel light-headed and a bit loopy every now and then. And those cartoon characters would sort of just hang out in my background. I’d be in the middle of a meeting or a hockey game and I’d feel like an elephant just barfed on me. I I started to think that something was amiss (was I crazy?) But did I want to get tested and hear the bad news? Not so much.

Then a lifelong friend broke both my kneecaps in a pick-up hockey game. After a couple of days of agony I thought that a visit to the doctor was probably in order. You see, I’ve had this rule for most of my life where I would only go to the doctor if there was more than one ailment affecting me at a time. Randy’s awful hockey skills gave me reason to go in and get the knees checked out and pose a couple of questions about the headaches and “episode” at the same time. Two birds; one stone.

My GP scheduled an MRI for the following Friday. While I was in the MRI suite after getting scanned, the technician helping me asked me to come into her office and speak to the doctor. As I sat down, I noticed an image on the computer screen in front of me and thought to myself, “Wow, this guy is in bad shape.” It showed a view of this guy’s cranium where one side of the head and brain matter was all crowded in because of this giant white mass that pushed up against everything on the other side.

I picked up the phone and the doctor on the line was in a pretty agitated state. It starts to dawn on me, I see the name at the bottom of that scan…it’s mine.

Where is Garfield when you need him?

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