Local firefighter beats rare form of brain cancer

A local firefighter no longer has brain cancer. Brian Kernohan has been a fire fighter for the past 15 years. In November, however, he went from fighting fires to fighting for his life.

"No matter what cancer you have, I think your attitude has everything to do with it," Kernohan said.

He found out about the cancer two weeks before Thanksgiving. Doctors found a brain tumor and diagnosed Kernohan with medulloblastoma, a rare form of cancer that’s typically found in children under 10 years old.

"Less than 24 hours later, they called me on my cellphone and said, "Drop everything you’re doing. Go to the ER right now. You’re having surgery,'" Kernohan said.

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After surgery, Kernohan spent the next few months recovering and receiving a special type of radiation treatment. Monday was his last day receiving that treatment and dozens of his comrades filled the lobby of the hospital to cheer him on.

Kernohan said their support has helped him recover, and doctors said having family and social support adds to the healing process.

“Everyone has been super supportive of me and for me. If I needed dinners delivered, they delivered dinners. I’ve had people call and offer me rides to treatment,” Kernohan said.

Now Kernohan is encouraging anyone in a similar situation to remain positive, even when the circumstances seem the opposite.

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“You can get the best treatments, you can have the best doctors but, if you have a bad attitude, it’s probably not going to work. No matter what cancer you have, I think your attitude has everything to do with it,” Kernohan said.

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