In a stunning situation, a Florida husband and wife who were diagnosed with brain tumors just four months apart have beaten the odds and have both completed treatment.
In March 2018, Grady Elwell, 42, was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor that would require months of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.
As his wife, Beth Kassab, made a to-do list of specialists to see and family to break the news to, she decided to make an appointment to have her ear checked.
It had been hurting and ringing for the past few weeks and she assumed she had an infection or that she was stressed by the news of her husband's cancer.
However, four months later, in July 2018, tests confirmed Kassab had her own brain tumor that would require surgery to be removed.
Now, nearly a year later, both appear to be in remission.
In a first-person account for the Orlando Sentinel, Kassab, who is the newspaper's enterprise editor, discussed the fear that their two children would be left without parents and doctors telling them the chance they would both have brain tumors was more than one in a million.
Grady Elwell, 42, of Orlando, Florida, was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma - a grade III brain tumor - in March 2018. Pictured: Elwell, left, and his wife Beth Kassab, right
Beth Kassab, 40, made an appointment with an ear, nose and throat doctor around the same time due to persistent ringing and ear pain. Four months later, in July 2018, she was diagnosed with meningioma, a benign brain tumor. Pictured, left and right: Kassab and Elwell
According to a Facebook post, Kassab said her husband's troubles began when he randomly had a seizure at home in January 2018, despite no history of seizures.
After several MRIs, doctors determined that he needed a biopsy.
In March 2018, a few days later, Elwell was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma - a grade III brain tumor - at the University of Florida Health in Gainesville.
A rare, malignant brain tumor, it develops from star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes that form tissue to surround and protect other nerve cells within the brain and spinal cord.
It occurs in about five to eight people per 100,000 in the general population, according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.
The five-year survival rate is 23.6 percent and patients with this type of tumor are 46 times more likely to die than the general population.
Doctors told him he would need daily radiation and chemotherapy, which began in June, Kassab wrote in the Sentinel.
A meningioma is a tumor of the meninges, which is the tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Around 32,000 people are diagnosed every year.
Such tumors do not spread and are benign in 90 percent of cases.
However, they can cause disability, be life-threatening and regrow.
Symptoms typically include:Blurry vision Painful headaches Loss of hearing Memory loss Loss of smell
A sufferer's senses, movement and ability to swallow may be affected.
The cause of meningiomas are unknown, but they has been linked to genetics and breast cancer.
Treatment options include surgery and radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
Source: Mayo Clinic
Kassab and her husband were eating a late breakfast at a cafe one week after his biopsy when she mentioned her ear pain and the feeling she felt like it was filled with water.