Finding a cure for brain cancer

Darryl Andrews directing the Ben Lippen band.

Columbia,SC(WACH)- One could say Darryl Andrews had two families.

"Darryl was a very loving guy, he loved life.He loved his family,"Darryl's wife, Kay said.

His wife, Kay, and the kids at Ben Lippen school, where he was band director, were part of that family. But in summer 2010, the beloved band director and his wife got some horrifying news. A series of sinus headaches were actually being caused by a brain tumor. "It was scary , but Darryl and I both had faith in Jesus," said Kay.

Their faith would be tested over the following months as Darryl fought the cancer bravely, but passed away in March 2011.

At a brand new state of the art cancer facility at Duke University, doctors are working towards a day where brain tumors will no longer be a death sentence.

Dr. James Vredenburgh is one of the world's foremost experts on brain tumors. Vredenburgh and a team of researchers are comparing the brain tumors of patients all over the world to find what they have in common.

(Brain Tumors are) one of those unfortunate things in life. It's like a lightning bolt. It's one of those things in life. There was concern over pesticides and cell phones, but none of that has been proven."

Vrednburgh says as of now, there aren't many cases of long term survival in brain tumor patients,"The low grade tumors quote benign tumors, but they have the propensity to become malignant tumors. If you look at a glioblastoma the most aggressive, the average survival is only 15 months."

Ultimately, Dr. Vredenburgh said the goal isn't just to find out what causes brain cancer but to cure it once and for all.

"If you maintain the quality of life and you focus on the science, then in the next few years, we're going to have a lot more people cured."

And when that day comes Kay says it will be music to her ears.