As her husband completes brain tumor treatment, caregiver swims to help others

When Adam Schoen first noticed he was losing his sense of taste, his wife, Claire, wasn’t too worried. She also wasn’t fazed shortly after when he started noticing his balance was off. She didn’t flinch when the ear, nose and throat specialist couldn’t find any fluid in Adam’s ear, or even when the neurologist ordered an MRI. But in July 2018, when the MRI came back, everything changed. It showed a mass near the stem of Adam’s brain. It was likely cancer, the neurologist said. They soon learned he had medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumor that’s most common in children. “Getting that news was shocking,” Claire says. “We were terrified.”  Adam was only 31 years old. The couple had celebrated the birth of their son, Theo, just nine months earlier. They were both active and healthy. Becoming a brain tumor caregiver Eight years before Adam’s medulloblastoma diagnosis, Claire had lost her dad to pancreatic cancer. His cancer was found too late, but Claire says the care he received at MD Anderson had been outstanding — so much so that Claire and her family had begun fundraising for MD Anderson. Adam’s diagnosis brought Claire back to that time. She imagined herself as a widow and a single mom at 34. The couple had been through many ups and downs. They had experienced a miscarriage and their house had flooded twice in Houston’s large rainstorms. “I struggled with self-pity for a while,” Claire says. “It seemed like we deserved a break. But I know that’s not necessarily how it works.” But with time, Claire began to see that she could...