Bart’s dedication to family and friends throughout immense trials and difficulties highlight his selfless nature. As a young father of two boys, he was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma, an aggressive cancer that attacks the brain and spinal cord. This is his story:
Life Event – the Illness
Almost four years ago Bart started having back pain. At first the doctors thought it was just a bulged disk, but the back pain continued to worsen. A year later he could barely walk the pain was so intense.
They decided to do thorough tests to determine what was causing the issue. “I couldn’t tell the different between hot and cold, toes up or down. That’s when they confirmed it was a spinal cord issue,” Bart said. He got an MRI that night and on the drive home they found out it was a tumor on the spine.
Bart’s wife was 6 months pregnant at the time when he started his 6-week radiation treatment. The first round appeared successful, but within a few months the tumor had returned. He described the radiation treatments as “a living hell.” He decided he needed to look for alternative treatments.
His decision to stop radiation treatment really upset his wife. “I thought he was giving up,” she said. But it was the opposite.
Bart discovered naturopathic medicine as a more appealing alternative. “The naturopathic approach to cancer is it’s not a scary diagnosis,” he said. “A natropath believes that the body can fight this on it’s own. Immune system will then work on it’s on and heal the body.”
Bart believes radiation treatment tries to kill the cancer before it kills you, but naturopathic heals the body as a whole so it can fight the disease.
Influence and Inspiration
His wife and family were always the motivating factor to continue. “He would come home and see our child and it brought a different spirit into our home,” his wife explained.
They had support from family and friends in fundraisers and other activities. Immediate family and friends, neighbors, and coworkers all continued to reach out in love and support. “It was amazing to see all the people reach out to us,” he said.
Small things can change someone’s day. That was Bart’s m.o. He connected with people of various backgrounds by simple acts of kindness just opening an door and later becoming good friends. “A little bit of positivity can make a huge difference,” as he always said.
Bart died after a four year battle with his tumor. He left two young sons and a wife, but his inspirational fight continues to be an example to his family and friends. The pain of losing a loved-one is indescribable, but his family holds his memory and life dear to them as evidence that they can do hard things.