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The Florida Children's Brain Tumor Foundation

06/01/2022 12:35 AM By Lisa Anderson
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Trip Green Family
The Green family, Submitted Photo
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The Florida Children's Brain Tumor Foundation

“It’s funny how God sort of speaks to you. Sometimes, I wish he’d leave me alone,” Trip Green says with a smile.

“When [Jet] was 18 months old, we noticed his balance was off,” Trip remembers, thinking back to 2008. “Within 36 hours we find out my kid has a brain tumor, it’s probably cancerous, the odds of him surviving it are less than 10 percent, and even if he does survive, he’s going to have all these problems because the recognized standard of care for treating it was nasty.”

God's Angel on Earth

Trip and his wife Suzanne were faced with a parent’s worst nightmare. After noticing the balance problem, they took Jet to his pediatrician. It was presumed the balance issue was being caused by cold symptoms affecting the inner ear, but the pediatrician ordered an MRI at UF Health Shands Hospital to rule out any other causes. “Within an hour they were like, ‘Your kid has a big brain tumor, and you need to be admitted, because he needs to have surgery to have it removed.’ Talk about the rug being pulled out beneath you,” recalls Trip.

A few hours later, they met Dr. Amy Smith, a board-certified pediatric hematologist-oncologist with specialized training in pediatric neuro-oncology. With her recommendation, Trip and Suzanne opted for a newer treatment regimen, which offered a better quality of life. “Medicine is very experimental,” Trip explains. “They try different things to improve things, and the accepted method of treatment changes over time as advances are made. That’s what clinical trials are for.”

Thanks to the skill of the neurosurgeons, Jet did not suffer any mental setbacks or other complications as a result of the tumor’s removal. The Greens proceeded with the recommended treatment from Dr. Amy; even though it was still a challenging process, Jet’s cancer went into remission. “It was hard. It was difficult, very difficult. My wife was very much on the front lines of the day-to-day of our kid being sick. So, I was at home working and feeling completely helpless. There was nothing I could do, and I don’t handle that well.”
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Giving Back

It was 13 long months of treatment followed by regular MRI appointments that continue on an annual basis. “While all of that was going on initially, I said a prayer and made a promise to God if we could get through it, I would do everything I could to try and fight back, and I have.”

In 2010, the Greens formed The Florida Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation as a way to raise awareness and give back. “One of the things we realized during that 13 months was that only four percent of federal money Congress allocates to cancer research goes to research for kids with cancer. That’s it. I couldn’t believe it.”

Dr. Smith moved to the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, and the foundation has raised about a quarter of a million dollars to help further her ability to help more children like Jet. This is done with an annual fishing tournament called the Kids Against Cancer Saltwater Tournament, and this year it will be held on Father’s Day, June 18th in Crystal River.

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about the Greens’ story, how you can donate, participate, or become a business sponsor, please visit their website at childrensbraintumorfoundation.com or follow them on Facebook @FloridaChildrensBrainTumorFoundation.

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