Jackson Man runs 5K after brain tumor removed Ordeal began with painful, but bearable, headaches

By Courtney Culey

Jackson Citizen Patriot

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) -- Three months after having surgery to remove a tumor in his brain, 25-year-old Shawn Pogrob of Jackson finished a 5K at his favorite place -- the Big House.

Weeks before the race, Pogrob wasn't planning on competing in the race, not really sure he was up for it. He did plan on attending, however, to cheer on his wife, Halley, and father-in-law, Dan McClure, who were registered for the 10K.

Then a few days before the race, McClure told Pogrob he would run the 5K with him, no matter the pace. Shawn gladly accepted.

He finished the Big House, Big Heart 5K in a little over 33 minutes. Crossing the finish line -- the 50-yard line on the Michigan Wolverines' field -- is something he will never forget.

"It was really emotional," Halley Pogrob said. "I can't believe how good he did."

"I love being at the Big House," Pogrob said, a huge U-M fan.

Since the surgery, Shawn has developed double vision in his right eye and lost some feeling in the right side of his head. Both of which he hopes get corrected.

"I see life differently now," Shawn Pogrob said. "I don't take things for granted."

Pogrob's ordeal started in early December with painful, but mostly bearable headaches. By Christmas, he could no longer ignore the pain and his wife made a doctor's appointment for him.

Shawn went to Allegiance Health for a CT scan.

"I wasn't even off the table before they said 'We've found something'," he said. Doctors told him he had a large mass on his brain.

Shortly after, Pogrob was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center. Tests were performed and doctors were 95 percent sure the large mass wasn't cancerous.

"They believed it was a slow growing tumor," he said. Pogrob was told the tumor, which was the size of an orange, had been growing for years, though no one can say for exactly how many years.

After the diagnosis, Pogrob went home to enjoy Christmas and New Year's with his family.

"I really enjoyed myself," he said. "I didn't lose sleep over it."

On Jan. 5, he went in for surgery. After a 10-hour procedure, doctors were able to remove 95 percent of the tumor, he said. He spent six days in the hospital and returned home to his wife and his cat, Gracie.

"I was scared," he said of being home. "I didn't know what was going to happen."

In the hospital, Shawn said doctors were always around in case something went wrong. At home it was different.

"I knew they wouldn't send him home unless he was ready," Halley Pogrob said.

Life is starting to return to normal. Pogrob is back to work at Tac Manufacturing, working shortened shifts and he started working out and running again.

"He's back to his goofy ways," Halley Pogrob said.

"The race (at the Big House) took a lot out of me," Shawn Pogrob said, but one day he plans to compete again.

And next year? He said he plans cross the Michigan 50-yard line in less time.

Published: Wed, May 16, 2012


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