For one county employee, a golf outing scheduled for this week serves more than one important purpose.
Scott Moser, deputy director of public works for the county and a Finksburg resident, will host the 12th annual Robert Moser Memorial Golf Tournament in honor of his late father on Monday, Sept. 12. The proceeds from the event, which will take place at Piney Branch Golf Club, will be donated to Johns Hopkins Hospital brain tumor research, a cause that has been close to Moser's heart since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 1993 at 28 years old.
It began with headaches and a blinking light — "like a strobe light," he said.
Moser underwent an 11-hour surgery and months of recovery through Johns Hopkins to address the oligodendroglioma deep in his brain. While the initial outlook for his recovery was not good, he said, thanks to innovative treatment from Hopkins doctors he spent more than 15 years tumor-free.
But a few years ago, doctors found more trouble. In 2010, doctors found that the tumor had returned. After another surgery and chemotherapy, he said he was doing well until the tumor again returned in 2014.
"Who would have thought that that many years later it would start to grow again?" he said.
He underwent a year of chemotherapy and another surgery in December 2015 but has since been fighting a series of skull infections. He is now awaiting another surgery to reconstruct his skull.
During the time Moser spent tumor-free, his father, Robert Moser, died and Moser decided to found an annual golf tournament in his father's honor. The proceeds, he decided, would benefit Johns Hopkins Hospital brain tumor research.
"We thought this would be a good cause," Moser said.
And it's a cause that remains vital to Moser.
Throughout the fight, Moser said his friends, family and co-workers have supported him.
As deputy director of public works in the county, he missed four months of work earlier in the year following his December surgery. During one of the bouts, he worked while undergoing chemo treatments, relying on friends and co-workers to help out when he was not feeling well.
"In my mind, working takes your mind off of it," he said.
And with the relative rarity of oligodendroglioma — only about 4 percent of brain tumors are oligodendrogliomas, according to the American Brain Tumor Association — Moser knows his fundraising helps encourage the research needed to help him and others fight the illness.
In total, the fundraiser collects an average of about $12,500 every year to send to Hopkins for research.
"We're just a small piece of [Hopkins research funding]," he said. But it adds up.
If you go:
What: 12th annual Robert Moser Memorial Golf Tournament
When: Noon Monday, Sept. 12,
Where: Piney Branch Golf Club, 5301 Trenton Mill Road, Hampstead
Cost: $150 per participant for cart and greens fees, lunch, dinner, beverages and a "goodie" bag
Proceeds: Benefit Johns Hopkins Hospital Brain Tumor Research