Local doctor shares personal story for Brain Cancer Awareness month

Local News

Salem doctor, Mike Sevilla, recounts his fathers brain cancer diagnosis and passing

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Over the years, you may have noticed that Dr. Mike Sevilla, of Salem, is a professional 27 First News calls upon frequently when we need a medical expert.

For Brain Cancer Awareness Month, Sevilla sat down with First News Reporter Jacob Thompson to talk about his personal experience with losing his father, Dr. Lito Sevilla, to the disease.

“A lot of positive energy. He always liked to bring life to the party. He was really, really fun to be around,” Sevilla said.

A first-generation immigrant from the Philippines, coming to the states for a better life, Dr. Lito Sevilla worked as an ear, nose and throat specialist for 30 years in Youngstown.

Growing up, Sevilla saw the impact his father was having.

“A lot of his patients would tell me, as a young child, you should be proud of your dad. He is really doing good work in Youngstown, and we are glad he is part of the community,” Sevilla said. “In my head, when I was a kid, I thought he was some kind of superhero.”

Jump ahead to 2020, Sevilla’s dad was starting to not feel well right after the pandemic hit, suffering symptoms such as double vision, dizziness and headaches.

Initially, doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It wasn’t till the end of summer that they learned he developed stage four brain cancer.

“We were told that it was the type of brain cancer, that in adults, we really can’t do much with. It already spread too much,” Sevilla said.

Medically, it’s known as Glioblastoma. Shortly after the diagnosis, the decision was made to keep Dr. Lito Sevilla at home and let nature take its course.

“I, unfortunately as a doctor, I’ve seen a lot of end-of-life type cases, and I had a sense that we were getting very close to the end,” Sevilla said.

Family was able to be around Dr. Lito Sevilla when he died, which was shortly before his birthday in November.

Six months later, Sevilla is still learning to let go of certain thoughts.

“Is there something I could have done to prevent this? Is there something in my medical training that could have helped me have him still around,” Sevilla asked himself.

We asked Sevilla about medical advice when it comes to brain cancer. You hear more about that in the video below:

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