“On April 13, 2016, I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), Stage IV, one of the most aggressive types of malignant brain tumors that currently has no known cure. During the initial diagnosis, the tumors had spread to different parts of the brain and I underwent brain surgery performed by my amazing Neurosurgeons at Dell Children’s. Halfway through my radiation and chemotherapy protocol and less than six weeks after surgery, a new MRI revealed that the tumor has regrown and has not responded as expected to radiation and chemotherapy. In July, I underwent the second tumor resection. During this time, my parents also consulted MD Anderson in Houston and other Cancer Center around the country about available trial studies to find a cancer protocol that would have any impact on the type of cancer that I was diagnosed with. Thankfully, I was accepted into a Pediatric Recurrent Glioblastoma trial study that was scheduled to start in August in Houston which would have provided the healing time from my most recent surgery. The second surgery resulted in a need for more intensive rehab and recovery challenges that I met with increased motivation and hard work.
However, in early August, I suffered a life-threatening event from a minor fall at home that resulted in a Subdural Hematoma (brain bleed). My parents were strongly encouraged by a certain member of my medical team (based on strong medical support) not to have the surgery due to the serious nature of the bleed and the prior surgeries for the tumor. Since the injury was a bleeding in the brain, this would automatically disqualify me from participating in the study which is secondary at the time to saving my life.
I wanted to fight on. Once again, the “exceptional” Neurosurgeon at Dells Children’s stepped up and said he could perform the procedure. True to his word, he was able to perform the surgery and stop the bleed. However, there was a real concern that I would awake from this traumatic brain injury. Although currently facing tremendous physical challenges from the result of my third major brain surgery since April, I awoke from my surgery and I am now making small but noticeable strides on my recovery.
In addition to my recovery treatment from the Subdural Hematoma, I am also undergoing a treatment process for the original brain tumor that has grown aggressively since my last surgery. The Oncology team, which includes Consultation with MD Anderson, has implemented a treatment plan that is similar to a trial study but will require various medications to be introduced over a period of time.
Despite the tough odds and the continued search for an effective treatment plan, I continue my unbelievable fight against this cancer with my wonderful smile.”