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Givens Brain Tumor Center 
Abbott Northwestern Hospital Neuroscience Institute 
Suite 304 
800 East 28th Street 
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Givens Brain Tumor Center

At the Givens Brain Tumor Center, we believe each patient deserves excellence in comprehensive care, including cutting-edge technology from a compassionate staff, in an environment focused on their unique needs. Our experts collaborate to provide comprehensive treatment that address each patient’s mind, body and spirit.

Our mission is to provide world-class coordinated, whole person care for patients with brain cancer

Features of the Center include:

  • Coordinated, whole-person care, including a proactive relationship with patients and their care circle, facilitated by virtual and home visits
  • Brain tumor support groups and connections into community resources
  • Leading-edge diagnostics and clinical research
  • A full range of advanced treatment options for adults with brain tumors, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy/radiosurgery, and innovative brain tumor clinical trials
  • Supportive care from complementary Allina Health services, including Virginia Piper Cancer Institute®, Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing

Patient stories: AMY

[MUSIC PLAYING] I've been married to Paul for almost 14 years. We have a nine-year-old son, his name is Ethan. He'll be in the fourth grade this coming fall. It was around Father's Day June 2015 that it started to get terrible headaches. I was dropping things, and I would go to cut sandwiches in half and it wouldn't be in half. My mid-line was off, so It'd be like a fourth and 3/4 of a sandwich, so I knew something was off. 

So it was a Monday, and I went to a doctor, and I went to get my MRI. And I would say within an hour of being home, I got a phone call and I didn't pick it up, I just let it go to voicemail. He left a message, and I still have that message saved on my voicemail. 

Hi. This is Dr. Dryer calling for Amy Wulvert. I want to go over your scan results, and what next steps are. Sorry missed you. I thought they were in a hold-- 

He said, I don't like to leave these messages on a voicemail, but I don't want to make you come back to the hospital. And then from there he said that there were definitely three growths on my brain that I needed to get checked out further. And he estimated that they were about the size of a plum. Immediately after that voicemail, I looked at my husband and said, I'm scared. 

Paul asked, what do you want to do? Do you want to fight this? And I said, absolutely I want to fight this. I'm not done being a mom. I'm not done being a wife. I'm not done being an aunt, or a daughter, or a sister, or a friend. And basically saying, how do I fight this? How do I cross that finish line? After my surgeries and after they removed the stitches, we started to visit with Dr. Trusheim. 

The Givens brain tumor center definitely makes you feel more than a patient. You almost feel like family. And they're always asking about our son and how he's doing, and just the fact that they remember those little things about your personal life means a lot. 

I think Ethan was born to the perfect parents. I think with Paul and Amy, they took what Ethan's disability was and decided, this little boy is going to have the best life we can possibly give him. We're going to help him accept his disability and not let it hinder him. And then when Amy was diagnosed with her brain tumor and she saw and thought about some of the barriers that he had overcome, I think she's taken that to heart and realized that this is a great opportunity for me to show my son how to move forward. 

I owe it to him to show him that I'm going to fight as hard as I can to always be there for him. 

Amy is an inspiration to all of us, because she's faced some obstacles, some challenges in her life. Nevertheless, her perspective in that is her disease is not her. She is who she is, and this disease is something that affects her, but doesn't define her. 

I'd like to thank the donors to the Givens brain tumor center, because I don't believe I would be where I'm at today with all the help I've received from Dr. Trusheim and his staff just to help me in my journey come this far.
Patient stories: DAN
I have an awesome family. We all joke with each other and get along, cry-- everything together. My wife's name is Summer. And my son's name is Devon. And my in-laws-- we all live together-- is Wanda and Ron [? McClovis. ?] I found out that I had a brain tumor, just came out of nowhere really. 

I was driving home after picking up my son. And I had a seizure while driving. And he took over the wheel and saved my life, basically, from going into the ditch or a house. Devon was 13 at the time. I had to go to Mercy Hospital. 

When I came to, they had to make a decision to do brain surgery to remove the much they could of the tumor. That's how I found out I had a tumor as well. I didn't even know any of this was happening, because I am in good health. And I'm a guy. We don't go to the doctors like we should. 

So they went along with surgery. So that's what we got to do. Through it all, I've always said everything happens for a reason. So I've been positive as much as possible about it. 

Summer and I had discussed-- because there's already options, you go anywhere. And we decided to go through Givens Brain Tumor Center. I love that place actually. Summer and I get everyone to laugh there. So I enjoy going there every two months. 

Ben is just one of the most enthusiastic livers of life that I've met. He makes it somewhat easier on everybody when someone is that enthusiastic, because you know you have a willing partner whatever we need to try to accomplish. 

Dan took the bull by the horns in what do I have to do to fight this disease to the best ability I can. And that included continuing to be active, because we know research shows us that by being active, patients will do better. 

My main hobby is golf. I golf probably three or four times a week or more. And then I work. That's what I do. My line of work I do for my profession is floor covering. And I'm self-employed. 

But now it's getting a little tougher now after this happened. So eventually, I'll probably go into sales more than anything else. I still go out every day to install flooring. I've pretty much tried to get back to everything I used to do. 

He remains very active. But he's also cognizant of what his body needs. And he pays attention to that. 

Sometimes his wife has to help him along with that and kind of remind him that we don't want you working 60 hours a week. We want a balance with life and enjoyment. And he has grasped his family and just looked at enjoying them, knowing that potentially his life isn't as long as he had planned. 

They said it possibly could come back in 10 years. My goal-- they don't have all the technology as they do now. But I figure in the next few years they'll have something that will allow me to live way past what they even think now. So I'm praying for that, I'm hoping. 

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Patient stories: MICHAEL

Michael's story on Caring Bridge video

Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute
Reviewed By: John E. Trusheim, MD, medical director of neuro-oncology, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
First Published: 07/18/2016
Last Reviewed: 04/25/2018