Dec 24th 2016 by BigBabyBurke • 37 Questions • 282 Points
"Hi Reddit. I'm Gray. Or Amazing Gray. Or Captain Gray the Lord because I'm the captain of the pirate ship. When I first found out I had tumors I was scared, and I have that same feeling today. I was afraid that I might lose function in my body or that I might die from it. I am thankful that I am still here and it hasn't taken away my life and my spirit. I try and stay positive but I still get nervous about it but I am happy that I am surrounded by people who are always looking out for me."
Joining Gray is Michelle, or Lady Crimson, Gray's mom and co-Captain. She will help Gray on any questions he might struggle with and knows all the details of his medical hardships.
My name is Joe, or Joe The Ruthless Breakdancer. Gray's friend and First Mate. Gray and I met through CoachArt, a charity that pairs volunteer mentors with children who suffer from chronic illness. We've been hanging out for 9 months now and have truly bonded. We made this video which pretty much sums us up:
Lastly, this is Gray's CoachArt donation page. It's a truly wonderful organization that provides so many children wonderful opportunities to live life, learn a skill, and make friends. Check them out!
EDIT: Hey guys, it's 9am here in Los Angeles. Gray has been a trooper but is a bit wiped out so we are going to sign off. Wanted to really thank everyone for all their questions and interest and donations to CoachArt! From the Captain himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMl8h-wxQkI
EDIT #2: Michelle is going to log on later and during the week to try and respond to some outstanding questions, especially those concerning family support. She will make sure to identify that it's her responding!
Welcome to reddit! If you could tell one thing to every person in the world, what would it be?
Nog before work to deal with rich, entitled people. Choccy milk after for the protein. Most of the trees weight between 100-200 pounds. The BIG ones weight closer to 300. Makes for a good workout.
I would like to spread awareness about brain tumors. Support the fight against childhood cancer. May is brain tumor awareness month. I'd like for people to support it more especially during that month
Hey Gray, I'm a 17 year old battling brain cancer now. Do you have a favorite doctor/nurse that you love talking to? And what advice would you give to me or others who are battling childhood cancer?
The image is our price sheet for everything we sell. Sorry that it is sideways. Op is not a smart man.
What are the unexpected/interesting results of your film going viral?
What do you want for Christmas?
I wasn't expecting the film to go viral. So that was actually unexpected for me.
First off, just want to say that you're an amazingly strong young man for enduring what you have. I just lost my mom (4 months ago) to cancer after a 4+ year battle. She's the strongest person I've ever known, and I can only imagine what it was like for her, but I'm so happy that you've fought just as hard as she did, and you're still at it! People like you two inspire me and millions of others to never give up in life.
Also, what are your top three favorite games?
That touched my heart, thank you. Skip Bo, Monopoly Deal, and Uno Attack. This is from Joe, I can tell you first hand Gray is savage in Skip Bo
Making moments out of everything. If you're saying something can't be done, someone else is doing it
Between Grim Rocket and Grim Chaos, Gray said he likes Grim Chaos better. But it's close
Good morning, Gray! Thanks for doing this. I think you're awesome and inspiring. Is there a way I can keep following you to hear/read about what you're up to and be able to say hi? PS: Joe is way more popular since he started hanging out with you. Good job teaching him how to be more fun.
That is funny about Joe. I have a Facebook site that I can receive messages: https://www.facebook.com/Amazing-Gray-117720188251784/?fref=ts
Hi there! As a current medical student/future physician, do you have any advice for me either about a really positive experience you've had with your doctors or even a particularly negative experience that you'd want to share with me?
Thanks for doing this, hang in there and keep fighting! I'm on your side, fighting against cancer, just from a different angle! You are inspiring with all your positivity!
Yes I do. The patient is always right. The patient AND their parents are always right. Listen to your patient's parents and also listen to their parents. Don't look at them like they're crazy. Just trust them. They know what they're going through more than you would know because that's why they came to you
Good morning awesome folks! As a fairly new father, having something like this happen to my daughter is one of my greatest fears. So I guess this question is aimed more at Lady Crimson: What were the early signs of Gray's illness? What led to the discovery of his tumors? You guys are great and I wish you all the best in the future. Thanks for doing this.
From Michelle, something seemed off. I would say motherly instincts. Something seemed off that I couldn't figure out and I would take him to the pediatirition. It was pressure in his head that would build up at night and he couldn't sleep. He would wake up very disoriented. After he would be up for a while, he would be fine. Anything that is persistently off, he was symptomatic at four. I didn't get him diagnosed until six. You kind of have to go by developmental milestones. But it's hard to tell at that age and you don't want to take him to the hospital all the time
From Gray, people thought my mom was crazy. But she was right
Good Morning Gray, do you believe in an Higher Power? Me being in your situation, id always think "Why Me?"
I used to feel like God chose me to pick on me. I sort of still feel that way a little bit. Everything happens for a reason but I wonder why God chose me to have the brain tumor? Michelle says "One day Gray said, you know what mom? Sometimes, bad things just happen. And not for a reason"
Hi Gray! You're the man! What's your favorite kind of music to dance to?
Rock and roll! My favorite song to dance to is "I Love Rock and Roll"
He just sang out the chorus, too
I can only imagine the pain you've been through. If I could ask what exactly is the kind of brain cancer that you have and are you currently in remission?
From Michelle - he has diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma throughout the brain and spine. He is not in remission, we do the best we can to manage tumor growth and all the effects through chemo and surgeries
Hey Gray, I'm a neurosurgery resident currently at our children's hospital and work with kids with brain tumors. What are some things that you and your parents appreciated (or maybe didnt appreciate) from your neurosurgeon? It's an understatement to say what you and your family have been through is challenging, but your attitude is awesome. Keep it up.
From Joe, I actually have a classic Gray story. He was beating me pretty bad in Skip Bo one day, I was completely out-strategized. I said "Gray, you know that you are really smart, right?" He responds, "well, I do hang out with a lot of neurosurgeons."
Morning gray, hope your day is going well. If I may ask, what advice would you give someone who has just been diagnosed with brain cancer?
Also thank you for the ama!
To not worry. That you're in good hands with your family and your doctors. Make sure your family knows that they need to trust what they believe in and not always trust what the doctors say. And your family will always take care of you no matter what you go through
Hi Gray! Do you have any weird favourite snacks? I personally like eating anchovies straight from the little jar sometimes, maybe you have something new for me to try :)
My favorite thing right now is cauliflower rice mixed with eggs and bbq spices. Yeaaah
Hi Gray, it will be interesting to read your responses! After living with this for many years, what would you say are some of the most common misconceptions and/or preconceived notions that you face regarding your situation?
Also, what are your favorite movies? Take care!
People think that I'm fine sometimes. "Oh, he's fine, he's not chronically sick." I just want to be heard and my story be heard. Michelle says "I think people think you get cancer and they take it out, you get treatments, and it's done. But it's not like that, he's been in and out of treatment for 10 years. Some cancers are too dangerous to remove"
EDIT: To add movies, mom said Chicken Run used to be a favorite. But Gray said emphatically that it is no longer the case. He said "I love Zootopia and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer"
What are your opinions on medical cannabis and what is holding you back from CBD trials?
From mom, we actually tried it like five years ago. Had to get him a card. We didn't try it as a treatment, we tried it for anti-anxiety and neuro calming effect. At that point, they didn't have all the blends so the amount they were giving was so much that he would be knocked out. That prevents us from being able to maintain accurate neuro status and that's very important
Hello Grey! I'm 31 and I have cervical cancer, gone through two rounds of chemo, 5 surgeries, and hoping to get on a clinical trial since it spread to my lungs. I too, am often asked how I'm so positive. I tell them the alternative is depressing. I can't think about how horrible everything could become. I'd just be a sad depressed person. I too get very anxious with treatments and tests. I'm always thinking "is this where I find out there is nothing else we can do?" My mom gets anxious as well. So far I have a way forward and I focus on that as a positive. Keep up you sprints and enjoy Christmas crafts! I do crafty things to keep my mind busy too :-)
If you're not positive, negative things are going to happen. You get what you put out. Think positive and positive things happen. Good luck to you! EDIT: From Michelle, there was a pivotal point in which I decided that we were going to live, we were not going to let his treatments take over and stop us from living. You have to live your life. Why fight for it if you're not going to actually live for it?
Watched your video, thanks for being pretty awesome and having way better dance moves than me!
Besides the dancing, how do you like to spend your free time? Any favorite movies or books or hobbies you have?
Doing arts and crafts. I like to do all arts and crafts.
EDIT: From Joe, his Pinterest username is "michelleandgray" He loves Pinterest!
Yo Cap, what's the best hospital food you have ever had? Way to keep battling bud! You are tougher than I.
EDIT: Like, their grilled cheese's are the real deal. If I had two places to choose to get grilled cheese, it would be In N Out or the hospital
Dodgers! I have friends that play on a little league Dodgers team so that's why
Do you get tired of people focusing on cancer as a defining quality of you? I mean, would you rather people talk about something else more often with you?
I half think people just associate me with cancer. But mostly I think people think I'm a normal kid and look like a normal kid. Part of it is because I don't have the typical signs like losing my hair and stuff. It's feels bad when people give me a weird look like they're scared of me when they find out I have cancer. Sometimes my doctors focus on the bad even though I know they are just doing their job and trying to make me better. Sometimes I don't like being at the hospital because of the negativity. Sometimes I feel poisoned with negativity. Outside of the hospital I feel like I can breathe. The negativity is like smog and I'm breathing in the smog. It feels nice and good not to have negative thoughts
Ayo Captain Gray!
If you won a million dollars what would you do with it?
Donate all to brain tumor research. To find cures for brain tumors
Hi Captain Gray! Do you play any kind of video games? PC, Console, or mobile, it doesn't matter. If so, what kind of games are you inclined to? First person shooters? Or Racing games? or Role-playing games?
Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS. I play food games on my iPad. Cake Mania is one