Wayde Fraasch has been named the honorary chairman for the 2016 It Only Takes A Spark Cancer Walk which is scheduled to take place Friday, June 10, at Farley Park.
Wayde was diagnosed with a brain tumor and has been getting regular treatments of chemotherapy and radiation since October of 2015. He currently has one round of chemo remaining before reassessing his prognosis.
He began suffering from severe migraine headaches nearly a year ago. After several weeks of intense pain, he scheduled a doctors appointment but had to wait two weeks to see a specialist. During that time, a friend suggested he visit a chiropractor to help with the headaches. Several adjustments on his neck helped relieve the pain temporarily, but it returned when he went back to work. Wayde went ahead with his appointment where he had an MRI done in Sioux Falls. It was then discovered he had a tumor on his brain. “The funny thing was, the doctor told me my headaches had nothing to do with the tumor and that my neck was just severely out of place,” he chuckled. He was given three options – take a biopsy, leave it alone or have surgery to remove the tumor.
Wayde took the suggestion from Dr. Bess in Milbank to get a second opinion. The family then went to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, to see a different neurologist. The results from that visit were the same as the first, and he was given the same three options.
Wayde chose to have surgery, which was performed on October 10, 2015. The surgeon was able to remove 96% of the tumor. The remaining 4% was too close to blood vessels and was not able to be removed. After the surgery was completed, it was discovered that the tumor was indeed cancerous. “I am grateful I chose to have the surgery,” he noted. “And it’s just amazing to me how this all happened. If I just would have continued on with treatments on my neck, I never would have known about this tumor. Someone was watching over me.”
Wayde underwent 28 radiation treatments, which occurred daily in Watertown. He also began taking oral chemotherapy and has one more round remaining. Besides slight headaches which can be controlled with Tylenol, Wayde is feeling well. He is unable to perform some of his regular duties such as lifting, but has slowly been easing back into work as much as he can tolerate.
Wayde and his family are doing what they do best – keeping a positive attitude. “They say laughter is the best medicine,” he stated. “So that is what we are trying to do.” For those that know Wayde, he always has a smile on his face, a joke on his mind or a practical joke behind his back. He is someone that will bend over backwards to help those in need and take time out of his personal life to lend an ear to someone who needs to talk.
Wayde is a registered nurse and part of the management team at the Grant-Roberts Ambulance in Milbank. He is also a member of the United States Air Force Reserve. His wife, Amber, is employed at Valley Queen Cheese and is the head gymnastics coach for Milbank High School as well as the Vertical Horizons Club team for elementary age girls. The couple has three children, Brooke, Elijah and Aubrey.