Emily is a survivor. An eye that didn’t constrict properly led to an MRI and a diagnosis of one or possibly two Meningioma brain tumors when Emily was 4 years old. Emily’s life and that of her family changed that day.
Over the last twelve years, throughout her childhood, Emily has undergone brain surgery, a seven week course of radiation, multiple injections for dystonia and too many appointments with physical therapists, oncologists, movement disorder specialists, neurologists and endocrinologists to count.
The worst impact of Emily’s tumor occurred when she was ten years old. After a few years of relatively few symptoms following the radiation, Emily suffered a stroke. Emily was transported to the hospital lying in the back of the family car unable to move or speak. It was after the stroke that Emily’s true heroism was best exhibited. Imagine being a popular ten-year old girl that excelled in the classroom and the sports field. Imagine all of this being taken away from you as a result of the devastating stroke, being unable to keep up with your peers in the classroom, on the sporting fields and perhaps most dishearteningly in the day to day social milieu at school.
Through the help of excellent therapists and doctors and most importantly her sheer determination, Emily has regained the life typical of a junior in High School. President of the school Gardening Club, a two-year reserve on the Varsity Soccer Team and an able, glowing contributor at her school as well as supportive friend, Emily is indeed our hero.
To think Emily’s biggest concerns are now how she will do on her upcoming history exam and not her upcoming MRI speaks volumes for what can be accomplished with targeted treatments for pediatric brain tumors.
It is not “the hand you are dealt” but “how you play your hand”
Please help Emily and others like her play their hand.