NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA.com) — A couple that found love in a very unlikely place has defied the odds after both were diagnosed with one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer.
Cindy Godshall and Mark Franklin were strangers when they both were diagnosed at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach.
“I had my brain tumor on my right side,” explains Godshall, while Franklin joked: “And mine on the left. So if we put our heads together, we’ve got a full brain.”
Both fell for each other in a brain tumor support group.
Godshall learned she had glioblastoma in 2012. Franklin was diagnosed with a much larger tumor almost six months later.
The pair has defied the odds hitting the three-year survival mark, according to their neurosurgeon, Christopher Duma.
Most don’t live with this disease beyond 14 months.
“By all statistics, they should have been … you know, 5 percent survival at three years,” he said.
Both made it through nearly identical brain surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and a specialized treatment involving pinpoint radiation that Duma has patented called Leading-edge.
“I do a boost of radiation using the machine called the Gamma Knife, so I treat the area that the tumor is microscopically invading and, by doing so, we’re cutting it off at the pass,” he said.
Cutting-edge medicine, excellent care and everlasting love has Godshall and Franklin cherishing every day.
“It’s so perfect for both of us. We don’t have to explain to anybody what our situations are, and every day you wake up, you just say, ‘OK, I’m alive for today,’ ” Franklin said.