Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw Jr. - Brain Tumor (brain cancer)


Frank Edwin McGraw Jr. was born August 30, 1944. He played baseball as a relief pitcher. People know him as “Tug” for this was his. Tug is known for recording the final out in the 1980 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies (their first title). He had a brief relationship with Betty D'Agostino which whom he had one kid with, country music star Tug McGraw. In March of 2003 Tug McGraw was diagnosed with a tumor in the brain, brain cancer, while working for the Philadelphia Phillies. McGraw's son helped to pay for a top team of specialists to operate while McGraw was in Tampa Bay. They believed that they had eradicated the tumor and Tug was very upbeat as he worked on his autobiography. However, on December 31, 2003 Tug suffered a seizer. He died six days later.

The type of cancer that Tug was diagnosed with was brain cancer. Brain cancer is a disease of the brain in which cancer cells arise in the brain tissue. The cancer cells form a mass of cancer cells called a tumor. Brain tumors interfere with the brains functions. Symptoms of this include muscle control, sensation, memory and other normal body functions. There are four different grades of brain cancer. In Grade I the tissue is benign. The cancer cells grow slowly and look very similar to normal brain cells. In Grade II the tissue is malignant. The cancer cells do not look as normal as the ones in Grade I. In grade three the malignant tissue has cells that look very abnormal. The cells are actively growing. In Grade IV the malignant tissue has cells that look extremely abnormal and the cells tend to grow very quickly. While the causes of brain cancer are still somewhat of a mystery data has been gathered to show some possible causes. People with careers such as in an oil refinery, as a chemist, embalmer, or rubber-industry worker are said to be at a higher risk for brain cancer. Other things that have been said to cause brain cancer are smoking, radiation exposure, and viral infection (HIV).


  • There are around 19,000 new cases of brain cancer each year
  • Around 6.5 out of every 100,000 persons will develop brain cancer and around 4.9 out of every 100,000 persons will die
  • This puts the survival rate at about 23%
  • About 13.8% of brain cancer patients are under 20 years of age
  • 10% are between ages 20-34
  • 11.7% are between ages 35-44
  • 14.4% are between ages 45-54
  • 15.4% are between ages 55-64
  • 17.1% are between ages 65-74
  • 14.2% are between ages 75-84
  • And 3.6% are ages 85+

Treatments for brain cancer carry for each cancer patient. The treatments vary depending on the cancer type, brain location, tumor size, patient age, and patient's general health status. The main treatments for brain cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Most treatment plans are an assortment of these. Surgical therapy attempts to remove the cancer cells by cutting them away from the brain tissue. Radiation therapy attempts to destroy the cancer cells by using high-energy radiation on the tumor and destroying the tumor cells ability to replicate. Chemotherapy attempts to destroy the tumor cells by using chemicals or drugs that have been designed to destroy the tumor cells. There are numerous different types of chemotherapy.

What Hope is there?
The good news for people who do not have brain cancer is that it is not a very common thing to develop. Only about 6.5 out of every 100,000 people develop brain cancer. The unfortunate thing with brain cancer is that it can be very fatal. The survival rate is only around 23%.

Tug McGraw never did anything that you could point out as a main reason for him developing brain cancer. Maybe that is partially due to the fact that the causes for brain cancer are not really known. Scientists have theories of what causes brain cancer but known of them have been proven. In Tug's battle with brain cancer he tried numerous treatments including radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgical therapy. Unfortunately Tug lost his battle to cancer on January 5th, 2004. Prior to Tug's death the Tug McGraw Foundation was created. The foundation is devoted to enhancing the quality of life for children and adults who care battling brain cancer.

This is a song that was written by Tim McGraw for his father Tug."He said I was in my early 40's,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin' at the x-rays,
Talkin' 'bout the options and talkin' 'bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How's it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,


I went sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I've been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn't.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin' fishing,
Wasn't such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I'd do
If I could do it all again.
And then.


Like tomorrow was a gift and you've got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.

Sky divin',
I went rocky mountain climbin',
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin'.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin'.

To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'.
To live like you were dyin'."