DETROIT (FOX 2) - You've been to a bank before, but not one like this.
It may look like a chest freezer some people have in their garage, but this freezer is storing precious samples that is saving lives. It's the brain tissue bank at Henry Ford. It's a living library, where hundreds of samples of brain tissue kept at negative 300 degrees.
"What we found out is every patient is different. Just because a tumor looks the same under microscope does not make it the same tumor overall," says Henry Ford neuro-oncologist Tobias Walbert.
That's why Henry Ford Hospital has one of the largest brain tissue banks in the country. The tissue is tested, research is logged and a treasure trove of information is kept about treating tumors, which patients like Kate White appreciate.
"Just a severe, severe headache, then the CAT scan/MRI after that revealed the mass in my brain," she tells us.
In May, this Grand Blanc mother of three was in such pain, but had no idea. Henry Ford doctors would discover advanced brain cancer later on.
"Stage 4 glioblastoma, which is the deadliest tumor you can have," she says.
Within days, surgeons removed the quarter-sized tumor, and now Kate is feeling such relief and gratitude in meeting other patients who have given her support.
"I mean, I feel there were a lot of people looking out for me that day that I came into Henry Ford. And once I got here the team of nurses and everyone around me took such good care of me, got me ready for surgery, and I truly believe that's why I'm standing here feeling so strong today," she says.
And it's the patients like Kate and others who donate their tumor tissue to this bank that allows doctors to keep perfecting precision medicine.
"At the end of the day it's all about finding the right treatment for the right tumor," says Dr. Walbert.
On Sunday, Kate and her family will be on Belle Isle for Head for the Cure. This fun event raises awareness and funding to fight brain cancer. If you want to join, visit headforthecure.org.