Archive for the 'Mauro' Category
My heart is breaking wide open as I share this news with you. After 5 years of fighting brain cancer, our friend Mauro passed from this world on January 1st around midnight…holding his sweet Rebecca’s hand as she nursed baby Isabel.
Quietly confident and deeply spiritual…he was loved by friends around the world. He and Rebecca taught capoeira in Des Moines…and it was always such a joy to watch him completely immersed in his passion.
He was known in the capoeira world as “Professor Xara”…here is a beautiful montage of his skill and grace.
We will be leaving here on Thursday to head to Iowa for the memorial service and gathering. Please continue to pray for Rebecca, Bianca, and Isabel in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and love over the years. I have so much more to say, but not the right words. Love to you all. xo
Five years ago, I told you about our friends Rebecca & Mauro. Mauro was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma in frontal/temperal lobes of brain. Brain cancer.
He underwent surgery, radiation & chemo…and he FOUGHT. He surprised the doctors and beat the odds when the cancer went dormant. We all rejoiced with them!
Life after cancer wasn’t easy, but it was GOOD. Their sweet little family moved to California while Rebecca studied to be a midwife and Mauro continued to teach and become incredibly respected in the world of capoeira.
But in April 2012, they received the dreaded news…the cancer was back.
Mauro re-started chemo therapy, but surgery was not an option this time around.
He underwent 4 rounds chemo using a top-of-the-line medicine. During round five, Mauro experienced increased symptoms…headaches and seizures which led to a hospital trip and stay.
While they were there, they learned that the tumor had grown from 3cm in size to 7cm in 5 wk period. The chemo was not working.
So they moved on to plan B. Use a different chemo with another med to slow blood supply to tumor. Surgery is still not an option due to how fast tumor is growing…but there is only a 40% chance that the new medications will work.
And that brings us to today.
He is now in week 3 of this new 6-week chemo regimen.
They are struggling…
…with the emotional weight of this disease on Mauro and on family.
…with the financial burdens of mortgage, health insurance premiums, gas, food, supplements, etc
…with the fact that neither of them can work right now due to Mauro being ill and Rebecca being his main caregiver.
…with Mauro’s family being far away in Brazil.
In their own words:
…for every minute together.
…for every prayer and positive energy sent out into the universe for our family.
…for the challenge of this situation strengthening our marriage and our family as a whole.
…for community, friends, and friends of friends.
…for mental and spiritual growth.
…for baby smiles, Bianca’s laughter, and my love’s kisses.
Rebecca is one of my dearest, most beloved friends. Her spirit is woven into my very being…I am who I am today because of her. Our friendship has stood the test of time and distance and it’s heart-wrenching to see them hurting like this.
And now I am asking for your help.
Today, they face the decision to pay for either Mauro’s medical insurance or their mortgage. I know that we can come alongside them in this difficult time and offer encouragement in the form of financial help. I am asking that you would give…even sacrificially…to help our sweet friends. Thank you so much for loving them.
Last Wednesday, Mauro, Rebecca, and Bianca flew to Brazil to be with Mauro’s family until March (they go every year). When they return to the U.S., Mauro will have another MRI and that will determine if the chemo and radiation he just completed were effective in attacking the tumor. Until then, they just wait. Please pray for them during this time of waiting…pray that they will live their lives to the very fullest during their time in Brazil, and that the tumor will be miraculously gone when they return.
Before they left, Rebecca and I were able to spend some much needed “mama time” together. We were able to sit and talk and talk and talk over coffee and tea for hours. I got to hear first hand about these crazy months of hospital visits every day and juggling schedules. A smile spread across her face as she told me about the amazing support they’ve received from the community and their friends. The best story was how Mauro completed his last radiation treatment, and it just happened to be on the day of the hospital’s office party. They celebrated by inviting cancer survivors to their office for the party, and they invited the Capoeira group to come in and do a performance. So, within minutes of his “graduation” from radiation, he was doing back flips in the lobby. He is one strong papa! Bianca and Bella also enjoyed their reunion. I did a quick family photo shoot…you can see those photos here.
Thank you again for your generous support of this special family. They have said numerous times how much they appreciate your prayers and gifts of money.
[ Mauro (left) performs at a recent Capoeira event]
Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who generously donated to Mauro’s fund…I sent them a check for $605.00 yesterday! You guys rock! I will continue to collect ongoing donations and will periodically send them a check.
Here is the last update I received from Rebecca:
“…surgery is scheduled for Friday, Oct 5th…and we are having a blessing way/gathering for him on Thursday, Oct. 4th.
…we had hoped that the majority of the tumor was on the outside of the brain, just connected to the top. After seeing the MRI, that is not true. It is growing inside the right temporal lobe of his brain. They will need to open his brain to remove some of the tumor. They will not be able to remove all of the tumor because of the size- if they were to do that they would have to remove about 1/2 of the right side of his brain, and he would lose many abilities and functions. They are going to remove just enough to get rid of the pressure the tumor is putting on the brain, and anything more that they can safely remove. We talked about malignancy and benign- but in the brain it is a little different, something is considered benign when is can be taken fully out and won’t grow back. So in his case, it is considered a malignant brain tumor- because they can not take all of it out and it will grow back. They consider it to be slow growing- meaning that maybe in a decade or two, he will have to have another surgery to reduce the size of the tumor again. When they go in for surgery they will check to see if it has cancerous cells or not- which could warrant radiation treatment. This is not really the answer we had wanted when we went in, but what else are we to do? The neurosugeon we have in considered to be one of the top in the nation. He was second in line to operate on President Kennedy when he was shot. there is a 2-3% chance of complications with the surgery. He should be out of the hospital in 2-4 days, as long as no complications…”
We are praising the Lord that this is the prognosis…even though he will still be dealing with a lot after the surgery, at least he still has a lot of LIFE left to live! God is good. Prayer is still desperately needed on Friday when he heads to surgery…for God to guide the surgeon’s hands…and for God’s miraculous healing power. When I hear back from her, I will post updates to this post (not a new post). Thanks again for your support and prayers!
UPDATE as of 10/9/07:
Here is the email Rebecca sent me this week:
…the surgeon was able to remove all of the visible tumor. this does not mean the whole tumor- there is still more inside parts of the brain, and cells and cell growth also in the brain. it is considered a primary growth brain tumor- it is considered a cancerous tumor. the part that was removed from his brain has been sent to pathology and we should have the results in regards to the type of cancerous cells, and estimates of how fast or slow they replicate on monday. mauro is recovering well- we were transferred out of ICU yesterday and are now on the Neurological floor. the neurologists say he is neurologically sound- meaning- he knows who he is, where he is, what is going on. he is moving all limbs and even walked a little today down the hallway. his memory seems to be fine. we are hoping for a full recovery. it is unsure on what measures if any will need to be taken in regards to the cancerous cells. First and foremost he needs to heal from this surgery. Then we can take on the next obstacle in front of us if needed.
thank you so much for all of your prayers, kindness, love, support & energy. We KNOW this is what has gotten us thru this.
much peace, love, health & knowledge to you, your family, friends & all your blog readers.
THANK YOU so much to those of you who have given generously to Rebecca and Mauro! I am blown away by your generosity. To date, we’ve raised $429.75. I’m going to be cutting them a check in the next couple of days…so there is still time to donate if you were planning to, but haven’t yet.
I received an email from Rebecca saying that some of the surgery plans have changed (location, etc), but it will still be happening quickly…I think within a week or two. They also just found out that they don’t qualify for any type of financial aid from state or federal government levels. Mauro is originally from Brazil, and he needs to have lived in the U.S. for 10 years in order to qualify for aid, and he has only been here for 3 years. So, they are still looking at paying everything out of pocket.
A prayer for their family…
Jesus…Thank you that you are in control of all things. Nothing happens without your knowledge. We come to you today with heavy hearts and a need for your healing touch. You are the ultimate physician and we know that Mauro is in good hands. We pray that you would bring a deep peace to Rebecca and Mauro, amidst the chaos. Calm them whenever they feel scared. Lift them up when they are falling down. Bring people into their life to bless them and to hold them. Bring sweet Bianca into your arms as her mommy and daddy are dealing with this hard situation. Keep their eyes on you…the author and perfecter of our faith. We know that in you, all things hold together and that you will use this event in their life for GOOD and not for evil. We pray for a miracle Lord…please let Mauro’s surgery go as planned and that his health will be restored. In your name we pray…Amen.