My brother, Alrec Sankavilode was energetic, imaginative and loving. He enjoyed being outside with friends and spending time with his family. In September of 2003, during his first week of middle school, he was diagnosed with an Intrinsic Brain Stem Glioma. The disease quickly changed him, and after just a few months of treatments and medication, I barely recognized my own brother.
Alrec's childhood of video games, exploring the wilderness and sports was cut short, and he had to begin to face the possibility of death at just 12 years of age. Five months after being diagnosed Alrec was unable to move without assistance, he was confined to his bed. He was unable to participate in everyday activities like swimming, running and even walking. We tried our best to accommodate him with games, friends, and parties but he just became frustrated because he was unable to get out of bed and enjoy it. I remember sitting beside him every day looking out the window wishing that one day he would be able to play kickball with his friends again. Although he was no longer able to do many of the things he loved, Alrec never complained. His heart was full of life but he was trapped.
Before Alrec passed, the entire family took a trip to Florida courtesy of The Make a Wish Foundation. This was Alrec's first time at the beach. When he first laid eyes on the beach, words cannot express how excited he was to jump into the ocean, but by this time his body was too weak. His eyes were full of joy and excitement. While we were at the beach Alrec’s health took a turn for the worst, and he was flown back to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital. On August 17, 2004, my dear sweet brother was taken from those that loved him so much. We all miss him and cherish his memory every day. We are all so thankful that he was able to be in our lives even for that short amount of time.
No child, mother, father or sibling should ever feel the pain of watching such a young life experience the suffering that a brain tumor can cause. The exploration and discovery of a cure is crucial and needs to be addressed immediately. This is such a tragic disease that needs to be in our past. In order for this to happen we need support and funds to better our knowledge in treatment and eventually cure brain tumors.