A 70-year old man left immobile after an operation to remove a tumour from his spine plans to walk again — and come home to Bermuda to run a half-marathon.
Battling Marvin Brock, who has late-stage prostate cancer, said: “The first thing I want to do is stand. The second is to be able to walk. If I can do those two things, I’ll be very happy.”
He said: “I would like to come back and do a half-marathon.
“I am not going to roll over and play dead.”
Mr Brock, who lives in Portland, Oregon, hoped to visit Bermuda this week to see his daughters, but was unable to travel because equipment needed to help him walk was not available on the island.
He said: “It means I am confined to America. I am blessed that they are coming to see me here.”
Mr Brock has created a charitable foundation and a website, marvinbrock.com, with a half-hour video designed to highlight his fight.
The site, which includes a GoFundMe page to raise $86,000 in support of his treatment, has been sent to major US networks as well as to “every business I can possibly find in Bermuda”.
The online campaign has already raised almost $16,000 towards his goal.
Mr Brock said he had no idea what reaction the appeal would get on the island. He added: “We will see what the heart of the Bermuda business community is. And the world will see.”
Mr Brock, a martial artist and athlete, said he was “a fighter”.
He added: “I have to fight anything and everything — it is what it is.”
He said he has improved since surgery to remove the tumour on his spine.
Now Mr Brock is determined to build the nerve connections that will allow him to walk again.
He said his cancer treatment, based on traditional Chinese medicine with Dr Baolin Wu in Santa Monica, California, which costs $5,000 a month, was just the start of his expenses.
Mr Brock explained he will need somebody other than his wife, Erica, to care for him when he returns to California in 2019 for further treatment.
Mr Brock said he was undaunted by scepticism over his course of treatment.
He said: “Those who are oriented to Western medicine are stuck in their ways. I don’t try to change that.
“It may sound crazy. But Chinese medicine saved my son.”
Mr Brock said he first became aware of Eastern treatments after a chance meeting with a traditional Chinese doctor in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, led to a cure for his asthma.
Mr Brock is now a student of Eastern medicine and hopes to return to a traditional medical school after he recovers.
Mr Brock said: “What I need now is to focus on meditation.
“With that, I will stand. And with that, I will walk. And with that, I will return to Bermuda.”
Mr Brock turned to Chinese medicine after his son, Mihdi Joon, was born with life-threatening conditions, including progressive curvature of the spine — kyphoscoliosis.
The child was not expected to live past the age of 10, but he is now 21 and Mr Brock said Chinese medicine helped him to survive, although he still suffers from health problems.
Mr Brock added: “My son shall be 22. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as I hoped, but I have learnt to accept that. He is alive, he is happy.”