Father of 2 Who Survived 98 Brain Tumors Says He Never Lost Hope
"I'm just kind of surviving one day at a time," said Leland Fay, 46.
“I had probably the worst cancer diagnosis you can have, and I’m still here.”
Those are the words of 46-year-old Leland Fay, who was forced to deal with the heartbreaking diagnosis that he had 98 tumors in his brain.
The father of two from Denver, Colo., said he was caught completely off guard when he got the diagnosis in 2012.
“The initial reaction was shock,” he told InsideEdition.com. "I was very shocked and devastated by the news.”
Fay said he had an irregular spot on his head that was diagnosed as an aggressive form of melanoma. Months later, doctors discovered the cancer had spread, with tumors emerging in his stomach, liver and lungs.
By fall of 2012, doctors told him they had found 98 tumors growing in his brain.
"We were not very optimistic in the begining," Dr. Robert Breeze of the UCHealth-University of Colorado Hospital told InsideEdition.com.
Over the next months and years, Fay was had several hours-long radiation treatments, brain surgery, and countless scans and appointments.
"I have seen many patients like Leland. The difference is that in the past ... we would not have tried to treat someone with that many tumors," Breeze said.
But Fay said he never lost hope and instead stayed strong for his two sons Connor and Derek, who were only 5 and 8 years old at the time.
“It’s one day at a time,” he explained. “We’ve always been really honest with our boys. We always kind of let them know what was really happening and to just enjoy the days we have together.”
Doctors said Fay’s latest brain scan is clean, and while they are hesitant to determine he is cancer-free, they said he’s beaten the odds.
Breeze explained, "The probability of someone with that many lesions responding well is small ... but he did much better than our data would have predicted."
“I’m just kind of surviving one day at a time,” Fay said. “We hope that things are gonna be great but there’s no guarantee at this point. This is kind of the new normal.”
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