Brad Hagen Recovering from Brain Surgery

Long-time MCAI member Brad Hagen, (he joined when it was the old ITVA) and OC media industry leader (he's a past president of the Media Alliance) is now home, recovering from recent surgery to remove a malignant brain tumor. Brad, who started Video Resources Inc. in 1979 and built it into a major production company with offices in Santa Ana and Boston, is known for his generous and fun personality as well as for being a creative producer and successful businessman. As you can imagine, dealing with the shock of finding a tumor and the surgery has been difficult for both him and his family— as well as his extnded family at VRI. Your good wishes, support and prayers will be appreciated. His wife, Tracy, has started a journal online at the Caring Bridge website which allows you post messages and donate as as well as see recent photos and get updates on Brad's progress.

It's still very early in what may be a long and arduous journey to full recovery. So please Log on to Caring Bridge (It's free but you do have to register) and let Brad know you're rooting for him. Or send him a card at VRI 1809 E. Dyer Rd. Suite 307, Santa Ana CA 92705.

From Tracy Hagen as posted on www.caringbridge.org:

This is probably the last thing that Brad would want, a public journal about him. But Brad is loved by many people, so I decided the best route to keep you informed would be to share on this CaringBridge website.

Brad and I were married 10 years ago, on October 18, 2003. Upon returning from a business trip to Orlando on October 18th last week, I picked Brad up from the airport and took him to get an MRI that I had set up because of some recent confusion and word loss he was experiencing. The radiologist called my brother, Chris Wills, M.D., who had ordered the MRI with the diagnosis: large mass in the left anterior lobe. He suggested that we head straight to ER at St. Joseph's Hospital. We were greeted by a neurologist who was waiting for us, and she said that based on the results she had called in a neurosurgeon. Dr. Lars Anker arrived shortly thereafter, introduced himself, and left to review the films. Then he came back into the room, closed the door and said, "There's no other way to say this, it's bad. You have a high-grade glioma deep in your brain, quite large and surrounded by the area controlling language. This is a malignant brain tumor." Over the next hour-plus, he proceeded to discuss the poor options that we faced. If Brad didn't do anything, at the rate of the tumor growth, he had less than 2 months to live. If he had the surgery, it would be complicated, risky and his language would be most likely be impaired to an unknown degree.  

We left the ER that night, holding hands in disbelief of what we had just heard. Instead of celebrating our anniversary, we were going home to discuss as a family what track we wanted to take. After consulting with numerous neurosurgeons over the weekend, we were clear that our only option lay in tumor removal.

So on Monday morning, October 21st, Brad made the brave choice to undergo brain surgery. It lasted 11 hours, and when the surgeon came out to speak to me and about 10 other people late that night, we all applauded. The surgery was difficult, involved and hard to differentiate tumor from brain without markers on a microscopic level using computers.

Brad spent 2 nights in ICU, and has been speaking on a limited basis to the surprise of everyone. He struggles for words but appears to comprehend things. He is currently in St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, CA. We are awaiting the official diagnosis after the frozen section during surgery, but the oncologist believes that it is GBM or Glioblastoma multiform, grade 4 by definition. We are awaiting the official pathology report.

Our family is shattered by this news and we are very appreciative of all your outreach and love. Jamie and Mike are set to be married on March 1, and we hope and pray that Brad will be there to walk Jamie down the aisle.

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