Principal returns from surgery

Ashli Wagner
Business/Ads Manager

Dr. Clark talks with vice principal John Thomas in between lunches. Photo by Ashli Wagner.
Principal Dr. Jon Clark talks with vice principal John Thomas in between lunches. Photo by Ashli Wagner.

Principal Jon Clark lost peripheral vision on his right side nine and a half years ago. He received the news that he had a brain tumor about the size of an egg.

“At first there was a lot of worry for my family, and thinking, “What’s going to happen?” and I really was worried when they said it was about the size of an egg, but also very positive. I’m not a very positive person, but I realized I can battle through this, and I’ll be fine,” Dr. Clark said on the news.

For Dr. Clark’s surgery the doctors went in, and cleared the tumor out. He then went on with chemo and radiation therapy. He knew there was a chance of cancer coming back, so he had MRIS from every three-to-six months.

Ten months ago in March, Dr. Clark realized he was having seizures; he couldn’t pronounce certain word or even use the right word. His MRI showed he had a small growth in the back of his brain. Six months ago, the growth was about the size of the end of a fingernail.

He chose a different type of surgery than the one he had 10 years ago. This time doctors stuck a needle through Dr. Clark’s brain to get the tumor out. The doctors then went back in and burned the area out allowing the chance for a more positive chemotherapy treatment. The doctors suggested Dr. Clark take it easy for the first five months after surgery. He has returned to the high school part-time until mid-February.

“Well, I feel like it went good but we were really positive about it the whole time. We kind of expected it would be good, and it really went good so we are really happy,” said freshman Jacob Clark about his father’s surgery.

The Webster Groves High school self-directed learning class hosted a project, Lights for Life, to raise money for Cancer Honor Society on Dec 18. Seniors Margaret O’Neal, Claire Gilb, Katherine Kazlauskas, Jasha Keller, and Annie Bryan sold luminaries for $5, and buyers wrote names in honor or in memory of people they know who has/had cancer.

“We had the whole South side of Lockwood from Rock hill all the way down here to Holy Redeemer for Dr. Clark,” said Julie Burchett.

“That was a big surprise. I knew something was going on because I wandered into the Chelsea Center, and I told some kids they can’t be in there, I was at a game in Kirkwood ,and I started getting all these texts from people saying you need to come by and see what’s going on. My friends said, ‘You’re not going to believe this,’ and when my family went through it was very emotional and very inspiring.

I wanted to get through this in a very positive way, and it was very inspirational, very emotional. I don’t cry very often, but I did shed some tears on that day. I’m thankful for the entire community, students, and the teachers especially because it was kind of the teachers, and they didn’t know that I had cancer. It was kept secret until that day so it was very emotional,” said Dr. Clark about the luminaries with his name written on them. “I think that was really cool how everyone helped raise money for it and how big it went we were shocked and kind of emotional because of how many people. We thought there would be a couple with his name but there were a ton,” said Jacob Clark after seeing the luminaries.

See also: Lights for Life even honors cancer and Lights for Life

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