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Tucson man battling rare, aggressive brain cancer

Same cancer took Sen. John McCain's life
Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-18 01:35:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson man recently diagnosed with a rare, aggressive brain cancer is working to spread awareness about it.

Last month, David Moya wasn't feeling like himself. He had headaches, and felt week and dizzy.

"I knew something was going on," Moya said. "So I finally went to the emergency room, and that's when a CT scan spotted the tumor."

The tumor was in his brain. Moya immediately went into surgery, where doctors told him it was glioblastoma.

The same aggressive brain cancer took Senator John McCain's life. Patients usually live for about 15 to 18 months after diagnosis.

"It's been a complete 180 -- as far as my life," Moya said. "And I'm fighting it one day at a time."

Moya is a nurse at Northwest Hospital. That's also where he is getting treated. It's surreal, he says, going from caretaker -- to the one being taken care of.

"It's a very different role," Moya said. "But I understand what people go through, now being in this position."

Moya is now home from the hospital. He's doing physical therapy and learning to walk again.

"And everyday, I see an improvement," Moya said. "So I'm starting to feel a little better everyday."

He says with the support from his family and friends, he's determined to beat this rare, aggressive disease.

"I'm able to get a little stronger each day," Moya said. "And I'm getting my strength back, little by little."

Moya's family is also getting into this fight as well. They created the Facebook page 'Moya Strong' to document David's recovery and tell people more about glioblastoma.

In June, Arizona Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally worked to designate July 17 Glioblastoma Awareness Day.

RELATED: UA researchers believe they found a clue in cancer that killed Sen. John McCain