Family turns to faith after brain cancer diagnosis |

Family turns to faith after brain cancer diagnosis

by Sheila Gardner

Kurt HildebrandDaniel and Mary Grimes at The Record-Courier on Friday.

Daniel Grimes was on his way to work from his home in Topaz Ranch Estates earlier this month, when his right arm went numb.

The 57-year-old drove himself to Carson Valley Medical Center, was transported to Renown Regional Medical Center, and within a week he learned he has brain cancer.

“I was driving to work about 4:30 a.m. on Aug. 3. I lost the feeling in my right arm, and I went straight to Carson Valley Medical Center,” Grimes said. “I thought I was having a stroke.”

He had a CAT scan and was taken by ambulance to Reno where he underwent a brain biopsy. After a week of tests, Grimes was told he had stage 4 glioblastoma, a malignant and aggressive brain cancer.

The news came as a shock to Grimes and his wife, Mary, also 57.

“I live with him,” she said. “I didn’t notice anything.”

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When he thinks about the last few weeks, Grimes says there were signs.

He has worked in maintenance for the Town of Gardnerville, and said he can recall dropping pens or paper, finding himself drifting off in conversations.

Since the diagnosis, Grimes has been unable to work. He’s got 2-1/2 months of vacation and sick time, and his co-workers are helping him out.

“They’re wonderful,” he said. “All I have to do is ask. One guy donated 40 hours of his vacation.”

The Grimes family has set up an account at Wells Fargo Bank to help with expenses not covered by insurance.

Mary Grimes carries a thick binder she describes as “this full,” with information about appointments, medications, diagnoses.

She works part time for a cleaning service, but has given that up to tend to her husband.

“This has turned everything upside down,” she said.

He husband is unable to drive for fear of seizures. He is soon to begin chemotherapy and radiation.

Grimes already shaved his head following a brain biopsy that left him with hair on one side of his head.

“I wasn’t going to go around like that,” he said, now sporting a colorful bandana or ball cap.

Grimes said he and his family are relying on faith and friends.

“We were not ready for this,” he said. “It’s devastating. Sometimes, I think it’s over, we’re done.”

But Grimes said he focuses on his children and grandchildren.

His daughter Dawn and her four children live with Dan and Mary.

“Through the grace of God, we’re going to make it,” he said. “I was born a Christian. I’ve been a church-goer all my life. I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I know it will be OK, but it will be a battle.”


Account No. 6021801425 has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank to help Daniel Grimes with expenses not covered by medical insurance.

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