TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa father is fighting an aggressive type of brain cancer after being rushed to the emergency room last month.
Don Haight, 59, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme or GBM.
His wife, Haley Haight, took her husband to the hospital in mid-July after he had trouble speaking and appeared dazed.
“They found three brain tumors, which never in a million years did I expect that. Just blindsided. He was completely fine before. We just never expected this,” said Haley Haight.
Don stayed in an intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital for 10 days and had surgery last month. Doctors removed a portion of the larger tumor. The other two tumors are inoperable.
“It is the same type of brain cancer that John McCain or Ted Kennedy had and now we’re looking at everything we can do. There is no cure for this type of cancer. We’re just trying to think of the best quality of life and the best treatment options,” said Haight.
Don will start chemotherapy and radiation later this month.
“The only thing that we can do now is focus on radiation and chemotherapy to try and keep the tumors from growing or shrink the ones that are there. That’s our next step,” said Haight.
Don served as an Army Special Forces Medic for six years. He spent the past 30 years working in healthcare administration.
His wife said he was laid off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haley said she is grateful for the community support. She is also appreciative of the help she has received at BayCare where she works.
“I’ve had these little guiding lights, little angels all through the system that have helped me with questions and what I should know and what I should make sure I’m asking. I’m just so thankful,” said Haight.
The community is collecting donations on a GoFundMe page.
Don and Haley have been married for 10 years. They have a blended family with a total of seven children. The couple has two children together, the youngest is 2 years old.
Haley said her husband loves hockey and motorcycles. She said she is trying to take as many photos and videos as possible.
“There is no cure for this. The end will be the same however long we get with him,” said Haight.
“He’s just the most generous, kind guy. He’s always taking care of everyone, everyone knows that about him.”