Josh Solomon graduated with a bachelor degree in Information Systems last April, after battling a rare brain tumor for half a decade.

In 2004 Solomon was living in Salt Lake City while pursuing an AS degree in General Studies at the LDS Business College. As the fall semester began he noticed that something wasn’t right.

“At first the headaches I was getting were just annoying. I thought maybe it was just stress” said Solomon. But the ‘annoying’ pain didn’t let up.

“[It] got to the point that it was just unbearable. Some days I wouldn’t be able to move. Other days I’d just be vomiting constantly,” said Solomon. By this point he knew that something was seriously wrong. After a series of tests and numerous visits with doctors, Solomon finally received his diagnosis.

“My doctor explained to me that I had a grape-sized growth around my pituitary gland. My first thought was ‘What is a pituitary?’”

The pituitary, a gland situated on the base of the brain, is responsible for secreting growth hormones and controlling the secretion of other glands throughout the body. The expanding tumor was compressing surrounding brain tissue and altering the production crucial hormones.

Within a month of being diagnosed Solomon underwent a delicate operation to remove the bulk of the tumor, followed by years of radiation.

“Those first couple years were rough. The pain wouldn’t quit. I couldn’t keep anything down

I had lost over ninety pounds because of it.”

Eventually the pain would subside, though a portion of the tumor still remained, allowing him to enroll in classes at UVU.

“I decided on Information Systems because I love the idea of connecting the technical side with the business, or people, side.”

Now graduated, Solomon is now the senior web application architect at ACR International in Provo, where he’s putting his ISYS degree to good use.

Regarding his contribution to the company, David Garcia, Head of Development at ACR, said “He has been an excellent addition to our company.  The solutions he provides—and the development as well—are innovative, creative.  He just knows how to think things through.”

As a UVU alumnus, Solomon credits those traits in part to his education and accomplishments as a wolverine. Still, he says that the real accomplishment is his battle with a grape-sized growth at the base of his brain.