December 06, 2012

Brain Tumor Specialists Forever Inspired By Boy

Back in February of ‘98, Ross and Mindy Deutsch were at the abyss of despair, a chasm punctuated by some 40 hours of watching their 6-year old son, Rory, slowly lose control of his motor skills, breathing and speech; this, while they awaited for the results of the MRI.

It wasn’t but a few months back that Ross, an avid basketball player, attended Michael Jordan’s Flight School, where he and his childhood friend, David Duckler, were ultimately selected by Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski as teammates during the camp.

If “chemistry” was ever at work with this sport-borne relationship, it happened between Ross and “Coach K” and their friendship was launched as they returned to their normal lives: Krzyzewski was coaching at Duke in Durham, N.C. and Ross was embedded in his financial career.

It was only six months after the camp that Ross and Mindy heard their son’s diagnosis: A tumorous cancer (glioma) was ravaging Rory’s brain stem, one that was inoperable and untreatable.

As devastating as such a pronouncement could be to any family member, doctor or pediatric oncology nurse, Rory became an inspiration, even though the best specialists in one of the finest medical facilities admitted they could do absolutely nothing for Rory.

And then the phone call came in from Krzyzewski. Ross didn’t know how the coach found out about Rory’s condition.

It was at that moment that Ross and Mindy knew what they had to do to survive the impending death of their son; as Krzyzewski told Ross on the phone: “‘…with this sickness, you don’t define it with a cure or no cure. The definition will be how you handle it.”

It was literally the next day that Ross and Mindy formed the Rory David Deutsch Foundation for brain tumor research.

Today, after two decades the non-profit has successfully raised close to $7 million. Rory’s legacy continues on in the research that is ongoing in two major facilities in the country: the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University in North Carolina.

Reach out to Rory’s courageous legacy with your donation. Contact us today.


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