Brain Cancer Fighter Shares His Passion For Basketball


“Always be inspired on every trial you face for these are stepping stones for a higher purpose”

Juano Ocampo was diagnosed with brain cancer on June 8th, 2008. He is fighting his disease.

The Diagnosis and Journey

“I was rushed to the hospital on June 8th, 2008 with an intense headache, nausea and vomiting, body numbness and seizures. Symptoms started 6 months prior. First came the unbearable headaches that progressed rapidly each month then followed by nausea and vomiting then the last two were body numbness and seizures.

As soon as we arrived at the hospital the doctors requested a CT scan to be done and the results confirmed that the CSF (Cerebra Spinal Fluids) was blocked by a huge mass in the area of the Pineal Gland. They immediately rushed me to emergency surgery for a temporary tube to be inserted inside my head to drain some of the fluids causing pressure to the brain stem. After surgery, I was admitted to the ICU where I stayed for 3 months.

Immediately the day after surgery the doctor requested an MRI test. She then reported the news that I was diagnosed with Pineal Germinoma. The Doctors decided to perform another surgery for VP (Ventriculo-Peritoneal) shunt to be inserted at the right side of my body to drain the remaining fluids by urinating it.

The surgery was a success but they also explained that surgically removing the tumor can’t be done because the tumor has now been fully attached to the optic nerve so if they remove it I would completely lose my vision. The only appropriate solution was chemotherapy and radiation. I underwent 4 cycles of chemo and after 2 cycles it was gone. My physician never suggested for me to take radiation treatment due to the permanent scarring in my brain.

For months it seemed to work but when the following year came, around the last week of August of 2009 the MRI confirmed that it was back. It was a difficult thing to swallow especially for my family. The Doctors then devised a plan for me to undergo 3 cycles of even stronger doses of chemotherapy, PBSC (Peripheral Blood Stem Cell) Collection, Bone Marrow Transplant then Radiation Treatment. After 6 months of grueling treatments, the tumor was gone.

My journey with cancer affected me both physically and emotionally especially my family who were most affected emotionally. Nothing can ever describe the grief that you see whenever seeing their eyes when they look at you going through each and every step of treatment.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My biggest motivation against my battles with cancer was turning my tragic moments to become the inspiration for me to get back to my passion which is basketball. Believing that my tragic moments were the stepping stones for a higher purpose. Turning adversity to opportunity.”

Biggest hindrance

“The permanent disorder that the tumor caused called diabetes insipidus is my biggest hindrance. The kidney couldn’t retain the water fluids that’s why I need to urinate more often. Because of this, I am taking prescription medication for the rest of my life.”

Message to other cancer patients

“Don’t ever be discouraged during the times of trial and suffering for every experience leads to a greater purpose for all of you. Everything happens for a reason and whatever you may be going through these moments will make you stronger and inspires you to believe that nothings impossible.”

Also Read:

  • Brain Cancer Survivor now a fitness enthusiast and a traveller
  • Brain Cancer Survivor Now An Author And Actress


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here