Greg Siofer Story 2008-2009

One day, out of nowhere, I felt dizzy, and almost drunk like; so I went to my family doctor for a check-up. I had an MRI which showed a tumor located in the middle of the brainstem (you can see in the pictures below – YES! That large bubble).  I met with the surgeon the next day and was told to wait because they don’t operate that area of the brain due to the risks.  I waited for a week not able to hold anything down, not able to concentrate, or I would get really sick. Things got even worse the longer I waited, I could no longer walk straight and my speech was really slurred.  I said to myself, a person can’t live like this so my choice was the surgery at St. Mike’s in Toronto.

The plan was to drain the cyst so I would not have so much pressure on the brain with little damage to me.  So I had the surgery and was left with left-side weakness to my body.  I was doing very well.

After a week I had an emergency surgery because I was going into a coma.  The cyst bled even more and a different surgeon had to perform the surgery to save my life.  This unfortunate event left me quite disabled.  From being 180lbs I went down to 140lbs in a week.  I could not move a finger because I was so weak and due to the residual damage in my brain.  I could no longer walk, eat on my own, speak, write, feel my left side, and half of my face was frozen.

I made the decision to go to Hamilton General Hospital to be closer to my family.

After a month, I had surgery yet again because the tumor started to bleed.  The surgeon told my wife that I had a 10% survival rate because I was weak and 3 surgeries on the brainstem are unheard of.

I survived!

After the surgery, I remember being told I would no longer eat, walk, and/or speak because of all the damage in my head.  After a month I was transferred to a Rehab centre in Hamilton.  The first thing they wanted to do is bring my weight up, so I was on a liquid diet via a feeding tube 24hrs/day.  After 6 months the tube was pulled from my stomach to everyone’s surprise.  I was also able to eat with some assistance and my speech also improved and now I am understood 90% of the time.

For a year and three months my life was at the hospital.  I was told many things which made me realize that no one knows what your body is capable of doing, if you want it hard enough.  My daughter was 17 months old when I was diagnosed.  My time with her was ripped out of my hands. Thanks to my parents, without them I couldn’t get this far on my own.  Currently I’m not able to walk, feel my left side, my right side of my face is frozen, I have double vision, and still not able to write.   I am obviously not employable either.

You don’t know what life can throw your way.  You just deal with it to the best that you can and don’t look back.

Anita and I have booked a flight to Cologne, Germany for an adult stem cell procedure on Jan 16 2010, something that’s not available in North America.  This is a very expansive procedure and being that we are living off one income, this has put a huge strain on our finances.  We obviously have to borrow and worry about it later.  I decided to swallow my pride and ask for help.  The procedure does not guarantee that this will work but my research shows very positive results.  I can only hope that the procedure will work, as I want with all my heart to go back to normal.  Thank you for all your help and I hope my story has inspired you.

15 thoughts on “Greg Siofer Story 2008-2009

  1. Greg,

    I have thought of you often and especially during this difficult time in your life. You are an inspiration to us all – you have the strength and determination to overcome all obstacles. I hope our donation will help in some small way. Good Luck in Germany. We will pray for you!
    Love, Ann, Dave and families.

  2. Greg,

    All the best on your difficult road ahead. My husband and I will keep you in our thoughts. We hope your trip to Germany will prove successful. Best of luck. Stay strong.

    Stef & Ryan

  3. Hi Greg,

    We have also been thinking of you often. You are still part of our family. Good luck in Germany. If anyone can overcome this, you can!

    Love from Stacey, Stephen & family.

  4. Hi Greg,

    I have been thinking about you since I first found out about the obsticles you went through. You have always been a true friend and always showed strength in everything you do. I know you will pull though this with excelence. Your family and friends are here for you!

    Good luck in Germany!

    The Rossodivita family.

  5. Hi Greg,

    I am a cousin of your friend Ursula Koster, I live in Germany near Frankfurt. I know it is not really close to Cologne, but if I may offer free lodging in this area (at my private home) to any of your relatives or eventually to yourself please let me know by sending me an email to [email protected]
    I wish you a successful operation and a complete recocery, God bless you!


  6. Dear Greg :
    I’m Ursula’s Mom, I hope everything goes well for you and i wish you the best with your operation, my prayers have been with you everyday since Ursula told me.
    We are gathering support and sending your case to our family, friends, Our prayer are with you, Anita and your little girl.
    A big kiss and a hug

  7. Greg,

    All the best with the prodcedure. Hope the donation helps you on your journey to a full recovery. God Bless.


  8. Dear Greg,

    I can’t belived this happened to you. You are a great individual and have so much will power. The things you have accomplished with fate against it just shows how much of a fighter you are. Since i’ve met you like 11 years ago, WOW! you have always made my life brighter from helping fix my car at your parents house to clubing with you we always had a blast. My heart goes out to you and your family. Just know i’m with you always….

    sincerley David

  9. Hi Greg:

    It was a great pleasure to finally meet you in person last Tuesday at our home. We wish you all the best in Cologne and in the future. You have a great attitude towards what is coming and we truly believe who will make it.

    All the best and keep in touch.



  10. Dear Greg and family,
    We will be praying for you to continue this fight and for the best posible outcome.Keep strong!
    aldo pedreschi and family

  11. Hi Greg,

    I am glad to hear that the procedure went well. You are a very strong and wonderful person and I know you will get better very soon!

    All the best and please keep in touch.
    See you back in Canada.


  12. hello greg and family,

    i truly hope that your trip to Germany will prove successful and you will get better soon. best of luck and stay strong.

    all the best

    agata gawrzyjal

  13. Hi Greg I hope you have a speedy and successful recovery, and will keep you in my thoughts! Hope the donation helps! God bless you and your family!

  14. Hi Greg,

    I used to be your neighbour. You must be so proud of your progress. It is so nice to see the photos of you walking with your daughter. She has grown up so quickly. Keep doing what you are doing – you’re doing wonderfully!

    Sincerely, your old next door neighbour

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