Written by: Kelli Ozdemir, SVP – Director of Portfolio Management
It was Easter morning of 2018 when we learned that April Marker-McClurg had her first seizure and was in the hospital. For those that never had the pleasure of meeting April, she was a long-time CREA employee who served as Vice President of Fund Management. Those that did know her will remember her endless positivity, a smile that lit up the whole office, and a love for animals that could compete with the love I have for my children!
Within a week, April was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer called Glioblastoma. While kind-hearted, April was also a fighter and determined to get the best possible medical care, which is why she ended up at Duke. She advocated for herself and was not about to give up. She immediately underwent surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible and then began chemo and radiation treatments.
The month of May is Brain Tumor Awareness month. CREA is supporting this cause to raise funds and awareness that will drive new treatments, increase quality of life, and build the power of the brain tumor community. April did not have a lot of symptoms leading up to that first seizure. She had experienced some headaches, but nothing that was cause for alarm. I would encourage everyone to be aware of the symptoms of brain tumors.
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent or severe
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Vision problems
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in a limb
- Difficulty with balance
- Speech difficulties
April battled her cancer for 18 months before it ultimately took her life in October of 2019. Through it all, April remained positive which is a testament to the person she was and a lasting keepsake to the many people who loved and were touched by her.