Matt and I, twenty years after his brain tumor diagnosis.


Brain Tumor Awareness Month, Day 5.

You know that book for job hunters, What Color is Your Parachute? 

It’s a classic, by Richard N. Bolles. Award winning. In print since 1970. Ten million copies sold in 28 countries. Translated into 20 languages. Blah, blah.

I read it way back, after college. Really it was more like “skimmed.” I never did the exercises. It didn’t do me any good. I wonder why.

Not my son Matt. He not only read the book, he worked through the exercises, kept a binder of notes, and followed through on his process of discovery with action steps.

His brain tumor has held him back in many ways over the past 20 years, but he has found  ways to manage and rise above the challenges, becoming incredibly resourceful.

He’s so good at career networking, he could write his own book. The title could be, 

When grey matter is the color of your parachute. 

Last night, we took Matt and his girlfriend out for dinner to celebrate his new job, a result of hard work and effective networking. His new title: Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Assistant. It is perfect or what?

Matt and I wore grey for Go Grey in May, Brain Tumor Awareness Month. It’s not my best color, but on him it looks damn good. 

We think of grey as dreary, but it’s beautiful color when you wear it proudly. 


  • An emerging writer in upstate, NY, Karen DeBonis tells her story on her website, in publications like the NY Times, (a Tiny Love Story), in her “Become Emboldened” projects, and elsewhere. "Portrait of a People-Pleaser and the Son Who Paid the Price", Karen’s transformational memoir about a woman’s quest for authenticity and the courage to speak her truth, is currently available for representation.

No Comments

  1. Pat rampolla on May 6, 2018 at 11:20 PM

    You both look so good in gray.

  2. Deborah Rampolla on May 7, 2018 at 2:05 PM

    You made me cry!!!!! Your writing is so touching, and Matt’s story is so inspirational. It is a story of love, perseverance and hope. Its telling will benefit so many others.

    We’re just putting ourselves back together this morning, but I will tell as many people about your site as I can.

    I am so sooo proud of Matt, and of you and Michael.

    Much love.


    Sent from my iPhone


    • Karen DeBonis on May 8, 2018 at 10:36 AM

      Oh, Thanks so much, Deb! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story 🙂

  3. Janis on May 7, 2018 at 3:55 PM

    I LOVE this picture of you two and all of your stories!!

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