On January 31st, 2011, we received the news that no parent or child ever wants to hear. Our 16 year old son Cory was diagnosed with DIPG, an inoperable and terminal Brain Tumor. DIPG is an extremely rare disease with no cure & limited treatments. The average life expectancy of this disease is 9-12 months. The only form of treatment at this time is radiation and clinical trials and this needs to change!
Cory was a fun loving kid that enjoyed all the things kids do. Early on, Cory took a particular interest in skate boarding and in-line skating. Cory quickly mastered the tricks his older brother, Nicholas, only dreamed of landing. As he got older and frequented the skate parks, crowds of kids would gather to watch him back flip on his in-line skates or clear a stair set taller than he was. Managing to do a trick in the air on the way down, Cory was absolutely fearless on a board!
Cory also loved baseball and being under pressure. When Cory was in little league, he often would be brought in as a closer. It may sound funny to think of in little league standards but he was effective and earned the nickname The Ice Man from one of his umpires. Cory could be brought in with bases loaded, still needing a few outs and still manage to get his team out of trouble.
Cory loved his family and friends and he covered a lot of ground in a short time once diagnosed. Cory didn’t have a lot of acquaintances, what he had were a lot of BEST friends. That is instantly what you became to him, a best friend! Cory treated everyone the same, he did not reach out to you because you were popular or cool, everyone was a potential best friend. Cory spent the last two years of his life fighting this horrible disease. With the same fight and determination he used trying to land a new trick, he faced the new DIPG challenges thrown at him. Cory used the same fearless attitude that got him out of tough spots on the mound to take this disease head on; his courage was unmatched. He volunteered for drug trials knowing that they were going to make him sick, he never complained he just kept taking everything in stride. Cory volunteered for an invasive surgical procedure with great risk, one I'm not sure most adults would have had the courage to take on. He did all this with grace and dignity and a “NEVER GIVE UP” attitude like none we had ever witnessed before. On August 19th, just 4 days after his 18th birthday Cory passed, however his 'Never Give Up' attitude did not.; it is alive and well and will be carried on by many for years to come.