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BRAIN TUMOR SURVIVAL STORIES

For over a decade, the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center has delivered hope to thousands of brain tumor patients. Through leadership in the development of novel treatments, investment in technology that improves diagnosis and treatment, and exemplary clinical care and research, this center has established itself as one of the leading facilities in the country. This also includes increased research and clinical focus on defining imaging changes as well as the diagnosis and treatment of the side effects of the treatments themselves including radiation necrosis

Seeing patients from around the world, this Center is recognized as one of the busiest in the country. In addition to offering patients advanced clinical treatment, the unique approach of the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center allows physicians and nurses from all specialties to collaborate on each case, providing customized care for each patient and outcomes that rank among the best in the world.

Chris’s story

Chris

Chris Gee was told he had an inoperable brain tumor. He found hope at the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center where he travels to for treatment.

Danica’s story

Danica

Danica Whitfield had been accepted to Michigan State University and was returning from a trip with her family. Then, something went terribly wrong. She had a seizure on the plane and after being rushed to the ER, doctors found something that would radically change her life.

As a high school senior, Danica Whitfield was just weeks from graduation.

Recently accepted to Michigan State University, Danica was returning from a trip with her family. Then, something went terribly wrong.

She had a seizure on the plane and after being rushed to the ER, doctors found something that would radically change her life. A brain tumor, an oligodendroglioma threatened her future college plans and her life.

“I remember that moment when they came into the room to tell me what they found. My mom freaked out,” said Danica. “I was thinking, ‘Did you just come into the wrong room?'”

It was not a mistake. Moreover, neither was finding the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center. After meeting the team, this brave, 17 year-old from Bloomfield Hills would undergo brain surgery just one day after graduating high school. Oral chemotherapy and radiation followed as she began her classes at MSU in the fall. Although setbacks with her health including more seizures forced her to leave school after her first semester, Danica credits her positive attitude and support of her mom and the entire team at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center for helping her persevere throughout this difficult disease and treatment process.

“Lisa Scarpace is one of my best friends. And so many of the people there have made my life a more positive experience. (A brain tumor) is something you have to deal with. You can’t ignore it. They were there for me whenever I would need it. I could call someone at any time and they were always available.”

After Danica’s brain tumor returned a second time, the team at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center performed another surgery and put her on a clinical trial chemotherapy drug called Avastin. Her treatments would help destroy the tumor, but it also took a toll on her overall health. At one point, she was down to 57 pounds and doctors had to stop treatment.

Although the outlook seemed grim, her mom and her entire support team gave her the one thing that helped her through.

Today, three years after her last treatment, Danica has recovered.

She is finishing her studies at Kaplan College and “interested in nutritional sciences. I could see myself working with kids.”

MRI’s have shown the tumor to be gone and she is excited to move on with a life after cancer.

Gill’s Story

brain tumor patient Gill

Gill Doyle was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM). He chose the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center for his brain surgery and subsequent treatment. In addition to radiation and chemotherapy, Gill is being treated with the FDA-approved Tumor Treating Fields, known as Optune®.

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Karen’s story

Karen

Karen Woelk of Mason, Ohio was treated for a malignant brain tumor at Henry Ford Hospital 19 years ago. At that time, she had been told by others that she had 9-12 months to live. What she hoped was to see her three-year-old daughter get married – which took place in September.

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Kim’s story

Kim

It was a weekday morning in October 2001. Kim Zuchorra began experiencing “weird” symptoms such as vertigo and numbness in her left leg. As a busy mother of two, she did not have time to go to a doctor. So, she ignored these signs. But, her symptoms continued.

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Laeki’s story

Laeki

After waking from surgery to remove a benign brain tumor, Laeki Hester learned her tumor wasn’t benign after all. It was cancer, but a plan was already being developed for her follow-up treatment. Laeki was soon asked if she would be interested in participating in a clinical trial for chemotherapy.

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Lisa’s story

Lisa

“I was about to go to church with my family and I started stuttering. Then, I blacked out. The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance.” These were Lisa Starr’s first symptoms of a brain tumor – one that took up nearly twenty-five percent of her brain.

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Nestelynn’s story

Nestelynn

Nestelynn was in the prime of her life three years ago when she begin experiencing a headache that wouldn’t go away. She thought the headache was brought on by extreme stress at work, but decided to go the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital to be safe.

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Oliveriski’s story

OliverskiThe day that my life changed forever started out like any other day. I felt great and like many of my friends and family suggested I had finally gave in and decided to have a physical done that day. I got checked over for everything possible and just like I had predicted I was healthy and according to the doctor even healthier than others in my age group.

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Sasha and Danielle’s story

brain tumor patient sasha and danielleMost glioblastomas occur in men over the age of 60, so when 20-year-old Danielle Gillespie discovered she had one, she and her doctors were surprised. Even more surprising? Just six weeks earlier, 28-year-old Sasha Archer had come to Henry Ford with a glioblastoma too.

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Tiffany’s story

brain tumor patient tiffany crowe

Tiffany Crowe came to the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center after her brain tumor came back. Our surgeon used a new approach which allowed him to target the tumor using MRI — without harming healthy cells and affecting her motor skills.

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Head to the Hill Advocacy Day

Washington DC Blog

Five patients from the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center and Dr. James Snyder, neurology specialist, met in Washington, D.C., as part of the annual Head to the Hill advocacy day to persuade elected officials to delegate more funding to brain cancer research.

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SOME MORE VIDEOS ON BRAIN TUMOR STORIES

A girl’s inoperable brain tumor is gone and doctors have no explanation. Today, Roxli Doss is doing what she loves, and that’s horseback riding. “She is just as active as she ever was,” said Scott Doss, Roxli’s father. It’s hard to imagine that in June doctors diagnosed Roxli with an inoperable cancerous brain tumor called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. “It is very rare, but when we see it, it is a devastating disease,” said Dr. Virginia Harrod with Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. “You have decreased ability to swallow, sometimes vision loss, decreased ability to talk, eventually difficulty with breathing.” Harrod said the now 11-year-old went through weeks of radiation, even though there is no cure. The family held a benefit for her in August, and the community responded in a big way. At that point, all Gena and Scott Doss could do was pray for a miracle. “And we got it,” Gena said. “Praise God we did,” Scott said. Now, they cry tears of joy. “When I first saw Roxli’s MRI scan, it was actually unbelievable,” Harrod said. “The tumor is undetectable on the MRI scan, which is really unusual.”

When Marley was 2 years old, doctors found a massive brain tumor that had to be surgically removed. This is the story of how the family faced this shocking diagnosis, and how hope, healing, and the best healthcare carried them through. Phoenix Children’s team of specialists worked collaboratively to take care of the health and well being of Marley and her family, including pediatric radiologists, neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, child life specialists and a team of nurses and staff who wouldn’t give up.

10 year old Sierra survived a brain AVM and Stroke, see her inspiring story of how she went from being in a coma, to learning how to breathe on her own again, eat, crawl, stand, walk and talk again while being a stroke survivor! All with the most amazing happy and positive attitude! She truly is a miracle and an inspiration! And an incredible reminder that you can get through incredibly hard things!

MORE BRAIN TUMOR MEDICAL STORIES & TREATMENTS HERE

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