Cancer Type– Brain Cancer
Short Bio – Mark Ruffalo had a dream about having brain cancer which saved and changed this actor’s life. Read his story here…
Story – In May of 2001 Mark Ruffalo had a vivid dream that he had a brain tumor. The dream terrified him so much, he contacted his doctor who ordered an MRI to put the actor at ease. Shocking the entire staff, test results proved he had a golf ball size mass behind his left ear. fortunately, the tumor was benign but the recovery process was most difficult.
The startling news forced Mark Ruffalo to turn down the role of Merrill Hess (played by Joaquin Phoenix) in Signs (2002) due to the Acoustic Neuroma (Brain Tumor that affected his hearing).
At the time of diagnosis, Ruffalo and his wife were expecting their first child. The only ones who knew of his early diagnosis were his best friend and doctor, as he wanted the birth of his child to be the happy focus, and he did not want others making his tragedy their tragedy. He told his wife after their child was born, a few weeks later. Each of us has to make our own decisions about how a cancer diagnosis will impact the loved ones around us and Mark elected to manage his own emotions to ensure the birth of a child came first before his own needs. An impressive display of prioritizing life’s events.
Ruffalo underwent surgery to remove the tumor, and not without cost. The doctor’s told him he had an 80% chance of losing his hearing and a 20% chance of losing his facial nerve. He battled paralysis of his facial nerves for ten months. Struggling with balance and not being able to move the left part of his face produced emotions of shame and fear. Hard to imagine “The Hulk” having any issues other than, well turning green and growing out of all his clothes.
His mantra, “Keep Moving.” He walked miles to help his balance, yet the emotional toll the disease took on him was tough. He moved to upstate New York days prior to 9/11 to recover and get away, putting both his career and his marriage to the test. Even though a tremendous challenge he stayed true to his mantra of Keep Moving and taking life one day at a time focusing on the present and staying in the moment.
Ruffalo’s recovery was slow, and the steroids made problems worse. He was quoted, “Recovery really tested what I was made of as a man. It also became a blessing in disguise, as time progressed.”
Mark Ruffalo Recovery. He regained most of the movement on the left side of his face, came back stronger than ever in his career, and lives with his wife and family in upstate New York. A great example of love, courage, tenacity, and determination to not allow cancer in any form manage his life or dictate his future.
Known for his work in films such as The Avengers, Thor, Begin Again, Just Like Heaven, 13 Going on 30, The Last Castle, and many more. Mark Ruffalo is also a champion for environmental causes, he is keenly focused on efforts to combat the fracking industry and their efforts to find oil reserves. He is active protecting New York and recently received an award from the Dickinson College for his efforts, he told a graduating class recently that “activist is not a dirty word” encouraging each graduating student to become passionate about causes that need their attention and to help others.
The Solutions Project – Mark Ruffalo is also involved with an organization called “The Solutions Project” which is committed to finding ways to power our lives using only and exclusively renewable energy. Mark serves as a member of their Board of Directors along with many other high profile business and industry experts.
Mark Ruffalo Brain Cancer Update
Mark was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2001 while filming The Last Castle. After the diagnosis, he kept it quiet other than his best friend and doctor. His wife, Sunrise Coigney, was expecting their first child, and Mark wanted the focus on the happy addition to their family.
He and his wife married in 2000. Mark and his wife have three children, a son, 19-year-old Keen, and two daughters Bella 15, and Odette, 13. They live in upstate New York, but he also has homes in NYC and California.
Today, Mark is doing fine, and there has been no return of brain cancer.
Cancer Horizons thanks Mark for his outspoken honesty about his brain cancer and urging people to see their doctor if they think something is wrong.
|Born||Mark Alan Ruffalo, November 22, 1967 (age 52), Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|Occupation||Actor, producer, political activist|
|Spouse(s)||Sunrise Coigney (m. 2000)|
Image Credits – By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)