Glioblastoma survivor keeps running

When Suzanne Stone completed her first half-marathon in February, the achievement was extra sweet: she’d managed to finish the long-distance race two years after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Suzanne had been on her usual morning run the week before Thanksgiving 2014 when she started to notice the symptoms: “I felt really, really funny and my words were all garbled,” Suzanne says. A colleague drove her to the ER, where an MRI revealed a brain tumor. “I worried about whether the tumor would be malignant or not,” Suzanne says. “But I was mostly concerned about Thanksgiving dinner because I was having 50 people over.” She hosted a full house for Thanksgiving before going in for surgery at a local hospital on Dec. 2, 2014. After the tumor was removed, Suzanne learned it was glioblastoma, an aggressive, malignant grade IV brain tumor. She began radiation therapy and chemotherapy, near her home in Fort Worth, Texas. Brain tumor treatment at MD Anderson In March 2015, Suzanne talked to her oncologist about a referral to MD Anderson. “We knew MD Anderson had a very good reputation for dealing with glioblastoma, and we wanted all the help we could get,” Suzanne says. Her doctor referred her to neuro-oncologist Marta Penas-Prado, M.D., at MD Anderson’s Brain and Spine Center. Soon, Suzanne started experiencing weakness on the right side of her body, and a scan confirmed the tumor had progressed. Because it was located near the speech areas of her brain, neurosurgeon Jeffrey Weinberg, M.D., recommended an awake craniotomy. In this type of brain surgery, the patient is woken up during the operation to...