Brains & Brawn
I never imagined I would say the words I have Cancer (Stage 4 Laryngeal) and not even in my worst dreams would I have imagined my youngest daughter (Ashley) being diagnosed with a Primary Brain Tumor (Glioma-Astrocytoma) before my treatment was complete. TRUE STORY
Ashley was diagnosed in October 2016 and had surgery January 2017..... she never missed a beat, she down played it to herself and everyone else and between diagnoses and surgery completed Nursing School, obtained RN license and started a new job... actually 2 jobs and kept her personal life just that personal. She didn’t share except with immediate family and a few close friends and honestly her reasons are her own …I think she didn’t want to be judged for having a brain tumor or for anyone to feel sorry for her or think she wasn’t the “Bad Ass” she has always been. Ashley has had a difficult (at times) triumphant (at times) and tiring journey but she walks this path daily with Amazing Grace.
We/She are so blessed that the surgeon at Duke was able to remove almost all the tumor and not affect her ability to function normally both mentally and physically. Ashley is followed by Dr. Peters an amazing Neuro Oncologist at Duke University, the first time we met her she told Ashley that she was Ashley’s drone and that Ashley would need an MRI every 3 month for a while then as no changes occurred they could get further apart to at longest every 6 months for the rest of her life. As a drone if she ever see’s any indication of the tumor growing that she will shoot it down. I don’t see her as a drone I see her as Ashley’s guardian Angel... just a rare one we have the privilege to see.
None of us know why we are chosen to have the battles we are chosen to have but I believe that these battles strengthen us and grow our faith in our Father God like nothing else can do. We appreciate all things we are given both good and bad as these are the things that bring us to the end of ourselves and therefore closer to him.
Ashley is a young woman; however, she will always be my baby girl and there is no greater pain in my opinion then suffering the loss of your child and with that being said I want to share a little information below:
Pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death among children and adolescents ages 0-19, surpassing leukemia. not because Brain Tumor primary cancer has increased but because the advances in treating Brain tumors HAVE NOT improved significantly over the last 30 years. The average survival rate for all malignant brain tumor patients is only 34.7% and for the most common form of primary malignant brain tumors, glioblastoma multiforme, the five-year relative survival rate is only 5.5%
An estimated 16,616 people will die from malignant brain tumors (brain cancer) in 2018. Despite the amount of brain tumors, and their devastating prognosis, there have only been four (4) FDA approved drugs – and one device – to treat brain tumors in the past 30 years. There has never been a drug developed and approved specifically for malignant pediatric brain tumors.
The four approved drugs for brain tumors have provided only incremental improvements to patient survival, and mortality rates remain little changed over the past 30 years.
There is hope. Scientists and researchers are more poised than ever to understand brain tumors, develop treatments, and find cure. More funding is needed, and we would like to invite you to give to this worthy cause and help save someone’s child.