When Brian Kernohan complained to his doctor of merciless headaches two summers ago, he expected to get a prescription for a sinus infection, not a diagnosis of brain cancer. The 37-year-old firefighter’s eardrums were curved inward, so his doctor suggested a CT scan.
It found a tumor the size of a golf ball sitting on his right cerebral artery, daring a stroke with every heartbeat.
“Not even 24 hours later,” Kernohan said, “they called me and said ‘get your rear into the hospital.’”
On Veteran’s Day 2018, the mass was surgically removed and found to be a medulloblastoma, one of the most common brain tumors for children. A year and a half later, earlier this month, Kernohan finished his final chemotherapy session. The husband and father of two young sons is now the first firefighter in Jacksonville to receive job compensation for his treatment under a new Florida law declaring cancer as a line-of-duty illness and outlining its accompanying benefits.