Thursday January 17, 2019 | by Ivana Pencheff

Fundraiser launched for artist and educator Greg Owen who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer

Northwest Coast glass artist Greg Owen has been diagnosed with brain cancer, and an online fundraiser with a target of $50,000 to help him meet his medical expenses has already passed $30,000. An accomplished artist, Greg is currently the lead educator and program manager at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, where, since 2013, he's managed the "Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire" program for soldiers and veterans. With a BFA from California College of the Arts, Owen's worked for Dale Chihuly and Pilchuck, and also developed his own artist practice. On New Year's Day, Owen came down with an unrelenting and brutal headache. Seeking answers, he finally checked himself into a hospital where the diagnosis was not good: a tumor the size of a grape was discovered in his brain. He chronicled his search for answers in a series of brutally frank Facebook and Instagram posts starting with a Janurary 7th posting sharing that he discovered the cause of his headache was the tumor.

The doctors at the Swedish Ballard Medical Center in Seattle rushed Greg into surgery, just 26 hours after his arrival at the ER. On January 10th, Owen wrote in a Facebook post: "I do not have the final oncology report until next week, but I was released from Cherry Hill Swedish hospital yesterday around 1:00 pm, 72 hours after walking in to Ballard ER complaining of the world's worst headache. I was rolling into surgery 26 hours after arrival and moved twice after leaving icu. They took out a very clean plug about the size of a grape from behind my right ear."

On January 15th, Owen posted a video on Instagram and Facebook of the scar from the surgery that was done to remove the tumor, which would be followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

Further testing and consultations followed, and Owen posted again on January 17th that he'd been diagnosed with stage IV Gliosarcoma. "The tumor grew in 3-6 months from nothing, proving to be shockingly aggressive," he wrote.

Owen's friends, Josie Gluck and Michael Schunke, created a go fund me to generate financial support. According to the GoFundMe site, "Funds raised on Greg's behalf will go directly to the costs of his medical bills, and to support the secondary and ongoing expenses associated with brain cancer."

To find out more, or to contribute, visit the GoFundMe.com page.  

GLASS: The UrbanGlass Quarterly, a glossy art magazine published four times a year by UrbanGlass has provided a critical context to the most important artwork being done in the medium of glass for 35 years.