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Phil’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Phil went into the hospital unexpectedly on Monday, January 13, 2014.  He had finished a physical therapy session that morning and had gone to his car, but returned to the office because he was having difficulty operating the car.  His speech was slurred and he was taken to a hospital emergency room.  On Tuesday, January 14th, he underwent surgery for a mass on his brain.  About 90% of the mass was removed during surgery.  He has shown good responsiveness after surgery. There are still far more questions than answers at this point as the results of the biopsy revealed an aggressive brain tumor.

Terri and their children, Noah, Emma, Rachel and Hannah have joined the family at Phil's bedside. Hannah’s boyfriend (Zak) and Rachel’s fiance (Gary) flew home from a work trip to join the family.  The family asks for your prayers and thank everyone for all the support.  They feel truly blessed by the immediate care he's been provided.  We will try to keep you posted as we learn more.

Latest Journal Update

Winter Update – February 27, 2015

Winter Update – February 27, 2015

Phil here…I'm just updating everyone on my progress during the winter season. I have neglected this CaringBridge but I have been thinking of all of you though this long cold winter! I hope you have each found some time to reflect, enjoy some solitude, joy and celebrations. It’s always a busy time but I pray that we each have found chances to be grateful for the blessings that we have.

I'm doing well and the recent MRI shows things are still stable in my temporal lobe, no additional brain tumor growth. Amazing!! But the treatments have been taking a lot out of me and traveling for treatments in Chicago every 2 weeks has been difficult. I have been continuing to participate in Language/Cognitive and Physical Therapies and I’m grateful for improvements in both. I will be making further treatment decisions in May as the experimental Clinical Trial will conclude with the U of Chicago. Your thoughts and prayers continue to lift up me and our family. Thank you!

My family is looking forward to; Hannah’s graduation from the U Wisconsin Grad School in May and her marriage to Zak in June, Emma’s graduation from Augsburg College in May, that will open so many opportunities, Rachel’s continuing development of her photography career and recent work in the Minneapolis Schools, and Noah’s continuing academic success and passion for basketball, as well as “hanging” with friends. Can you tell how proud I am of each? 

As I continue this journey, my family has been my joy and inspiration, especially Terri. All through the ups and downs she has continued to work as a highly valued Mentor to teachers while holding together our important family traditions. She puts up with my memory issues, fatigue, and financial matters. My love for her is endless. She is my angle on earth!

Be sure to surprise someone you love with a hug.


14 people hearted this



Loni Barnes
By Loni barnes
So good to read a post from YOU!! You sound amazing! You are quite an inspiration to many of your friends and colleagues...thank you:) Keep improving!!
Lisa  Giebink
By Lisa G
What a nice way to honor your family! Prayers for skilled hands caring for your physical health, and for the kind soles caring for YOU!!
Mary Hunt
By Mary
Phil - what a wonderful post! So happy to hear your good news as well as the great family updates! I will take your advice and give some hugs.
debbie kelly
By Debbie Kelly, District 196 ECSE
It great to hear from you via the Caring Bridge Site. I am so pleased to hear that the clinical trial has been a success in many ways. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family.
laura putz
By laura putz
You are on our prayer board and in the name of Jesus we pray for complete and total healing and restoration for you. God has, and will continue to bless you and your family. Your faith shines through every word. Give Terri a hug from me!
Barb Kizzee
Hi Phil, Thank you for your update. You are an inspiration in your positive attitude and appreciation of your family! My prayers are with you all. Blessings, Barb Kizzee
Fran and Maura Roby
By Maura and Fran Roby
It is so good to hear an update and that things continue to move in a positive direction. I had just said to Fran last night that I was wondering how you all were doing! So many wonderful events happening in the near future for your family. How exciting! Continued prayers coming your way, Phil, for you and the whole family.
Jeri Rockett
Thanks so much for the good news update! We've been wondering how it was going and praying that all is well. You are blessed with an amazing spirit.
Jeri Rockett & the Hershey boys
Brad and Joanie Trahan
By Brad Trahan
My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family Phil! Peace my friend - take one mile at a time, one day at a time and remember to always keep believing. Sounds like you have an awesome family.
patti S
By John and Patti Shrake and family
Thank you Phil for sharing your journey with us. We are blessed to have you in our life! Prayers continuing for your whole family.