ELIZABETH, NJ – When Mike Georgevich, age 28, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, his sister Nicole didn’t hesitate to spring into action. Along with family and friends, she set up a GoFundMe to help raise funds for her brother’s upcoming surgery and potential rehabilitation thereafter.

“People's reactions and stories of their own experiences really helped to ease my mind at a time when it was racing to conclusions,” said Nicole Georgevich. “At first, I felt no one would understand what I was going through, but it’s been the complete opposite. I am thankful for all the love and support, as I get ready for the long journey ahead.”

Mike Georgevich, who lives in Elizabeth and is a healthcare professional and two-time graduate of Seton Hall University, has been diagnosed with a left-sided acoustic neuroma, one of only 20,000 cases out of nearly 700,000 reported in the U.S. by the American Brain Tumor Association.

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He realized something was wrong after battling symptoms of double vision, hearing loss, and constant headaches. Finally, he went to a doctor to get an MRI. It was then doctors discovered a tumor the size of a golf ball on the left side of his brain.

Survival after diagnosis with a primary brain tumor varies significantly by age, medical history and tumor behavior. The aftermath of Georgevich’s surgery, can result in life-altering side effects including, hearing loss in his left ear, permanent facial paralysis and the possibility of him having to learn how to walk again

"So many feelings and thoughts run through your mind, when you hear the word tumor,” said Georgevich. “You initially feel helpless and even afraid to tell people of your diagnosis.”

However, Georgevich is optimistic and empowered by the strength he’s received from family and friends ahead of his surgery.

To donate to Georgevich, please visit his GoFundMe.

To reach Georgevich, please email michaelgeorgevich21@gmail.com.