A University of Maryland alumnus has raised more than $70,000 toward his $100,000 goal on GoFundMe to fund his brain surgery.
Kawan Glover, former president of this university's Alpha Phi Alpha chapter, discovered he had a brain lesion while he was a student at this university in 2014. Doctors have since operated on it twice, but he was forced to seek a third operation after discovering a hemorrhage in the same spot earlier this month. He now requires another operation, which his health insurance policy does not cover.
Since Glover — who graduated from this university's business school last spring — created the GoFundMe page on Sep. 21, more than 1,400 people have made donations, some of which are as high as $1,000.
Many of the donations have come from members of Greek life, both in this university and from other universities, including Morgan State University, Bowie State University and Towson University, said Marcus Davis, education chair of Glover's fraternity.
"When someone really goes through a crisis, it puts a pause on everything and it doesn't matter if you're an Alpha or what school you go to," said Davis, a senior mechanical engineering major. "You reach out and you care."
It all began when Glover started experiencing blurred vision and dizziness in August 2014, and discovered he had a lesion in his brain called a cavernous malformation.
Glover underwent an eight-hour procedure at George Washington University Hospital to get rid of the lesion on Aug. 15, 2014.
"The surgery was a success, so, being the 20-year-old I was, I felt like Superman and decided to go back to school a week or two after surgery in the fall semester," Glover said. "I was in school doing 20-year-old things, keeping up with school and becoming active on campus."
For the months of August and September 2014, Glover was president of Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity regulated by this university's chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
"It was clear to everybody that Kawan would be president," Davis said. "Everyone knew that he possessed all the qualities of a good president of the chapter."
Jeanette Snider, Glover's business school adviser, said she was concerned with how active he was on the campus following the surgery, adding he pursued philanthropic opportunities and interned for an elected official outside class and the fraternity.
"He really needed to take his time because his body was weak and he was over-exerting it, and I told him to not rush his recovery," Snider said. "But that's the kind of person he is, always saying he can do it really pridefully."
On Sept. 18, 2014, Glover suffered a stroke inside his Courtyards room.
Glover returned to the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital, where he stayed for a week under observation. He then spent a month at MedStar National Rehabilitation Center, a facility in Washington, D.C. that he said helped him with occupational and speech therapy.
"It was pretty humbling, being my age and not able to physically do everything myself or having to depend on other people to do everything for me," Glover said. "The stroke took me down and made me realize I'm not invincible."
After nearly one year of seeing his doctors for routine MRIs, Glover discovered in September 2015 "the mass had grown back bigger, faster, and more aggressively," he said. In October 2015, Glover had a second operation.
"It was a lot harder for my family to have to go through it again," Glover said. "I really just wanted to get it done and move back on with my life."
The procedure was successful, doctors told Glover. This summer Glover worked on expanding Alpha Business Nation, a platform that serves as a resource for fraternity brothers who are budding entrepreneurs through sponsorship, financing, coaching and more, according to the business' website.
Earlier this month Glover reported having headaches, which manifested into loss of control on the left side of his face and hearing in his left ear, as well as balance issues.
The doctors told Glover he would need another operation, and they referred him to Dr. James Liu at Rutgers University.
Glover said Liu "is very confident he can fix my problem, as he does similar procedures every week," but he then learned that Liu's practice does not accept his insurance. The price of Liu's procedure would likely exceed $250,000 with out-of-pocket costs and pre- and post-surgery expenses, he added.
Glover has the procedure slated with Liu for Oct. 12, but is meeting with other doctors to find a more affordable and in-network solution.
"We were all disappointed that day and I didn't know what to do to ease a financial burden like this," Glover said. "So, I typed my story on GoFundMe and put it out there and shared it with people, who then starting sharing it all over social media."
This university's graduate chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha has supported Glover, "reminding everyone to not get comfortable and we're still pushing to raise this money for Kawan," Davis added.
Snider described the support for Glover as "absolutely mind-blowing."
"When I heard about it, my heart just dropped," she said, "because he's so close to finishing and having it all, being able to pursue his career and live whatever his new normal is."