brain tumours suck :: a tale by two sisters.

today i am sharing two stories by two sisters. this is their response to the shocking diagnosis of a brain tumour for one of them in their youth. please take the time to read their stories and help spread awareness about brain tumours.

brain tumours are common, terrifying and each tumour is completely unique to each person. there are links on how you can help at the end of this post. please see the tab above for more info and stories about people living with or surviving brain tumours!

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(first, we hear from the sister who received the scary diagnosis)

I was 11 years old when I was told I had a brain tumour It all went by so quickly. One day I was a normal kid and the next I was sitting in a hospital bed.
I started getting really bad migraines and the doctors did not know what was causing them. Were I older and it was simply a standalone issue, I could have had botox applied to help relieve it. Whether you choose to do so knowing that is an option is up to you. Meanwhile, I had an eye exam scheduled and that is when they found out I had a brain tumour. To be honest, at the time, I think I was too young to comprehend the magnitude of what the doctor had just told us. Although, I vividly remember my parents breathing a sigh of relief that someone had caught the tumor before it had a chance to grow even more. To this day, we are so grateful for the doctors, the eye care associates, and all the equipment they had on hand to help give my eyes a thorough inspection and diagnosis. Quite frankly, it saved my life. And we thank them every day. During the exam, the eye doctor could see the swelling behind my eyes and immediately sent me to a pediatrician. Next thing I knew we were racing to the Sick Kids hospital in Toronto.
The tumour was benign and was the size of a golf ball. With the help of some fancy equipment from somewhere like Medicalexpo, the doctors were able to remove 95% of it. I spent 2 weeks in the hospital and many months afterwards recovering. The remaining 5% of the tumour has stayed the same size and I go for annual MRIs to be sure it does not change.
It is so crazy how quickly your life can change. Today I am a healthy 22 year old woman planning my wedding with the man of my dreams and living a great life. I am so thankful for every single person involved in saving my life and I am happy to be taking part in the Spring Sprint to support brain tumour research and everyone affected by tumours.

(now, we hear from the big sister who was told her little sister had a brain tumour)
The day I found out that my little sister had a brain tumour was a day I will never forget. At just 11 years of age, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and had to have it removed immediately.I was working the evening that I found out this life-changing news. My Mom called and asked that I come home as soon as I was done my shift, as they had something important to tell me.
Shortly after 11 pm I got home to find my sister sitting snugly between my Mom and Dad, all three of them had a devastated look in their eyes. Immediately, I knew something was wrong with my sister. I can still picture every single detail of that moment, the fear in my mom’s eyes, the pain and anguish in my dad’s, and the sadness in my baby sister’s, I was also shocked to see how brave she looked at the same time. I can also remember the overwhelming thought of wishing it was me instead of her. I would have given anything to keep her safe and healthy.
The next morning we rushed to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto and spent the day speaking with doctors and preparing for all that was to come. They scheduled her surgery and told us it would take approximately 8 hours. It took longer, over 9 hours. The last hour being the absolute worst, waiting and worrying that something had gone wrong. The surgeon came out and informed us that they were able to remove 95% of the tumour the tumour was located at the stem of her brain, on the pituitary gland, and they were unable to remove the additional 5%. This was fairly good news to us, but it was still hard to wrap our heads around the fact that 5% still remained. Even to this very day, I find it hard to believe that it’s still just there…
My sister’s recovery was a tough, and surprisingly amazing adventure. It taught me a lot about life and what’s important and what’s not, it put everything into perspective for me. There were so many things she had to learn to do again, imagine helping teach your little sister to walk again, I can still recall the feeling we had when she took her first few steps!
I learned a lot about my family during this process. I learned that my big brother would always be there to protect us and do whatever he could to keep us safe. I learned that my Dad loved us kids more than he could express, and that he didn’t always know the right words to tell us that. I learned that my Mom would do absolutely anything for us and that it broke her heart to see her youngest baby go through this. She refused to leave my sister’s side throughout this whole process. She was the rock that held us all together.
I am so very proud of my sister for all of her strength and courage throughout her 22 years. She is a kind, beautiful and vibrant young woman who loves life and lives it to the fullest!
We are so excited to be doing the Spring Sprint together!

Please help me bring attention to this cause by sponsoring my friends and I, MAMAS AGAINST TUMOURS, in the Spring Sprint.
xo, mama lola
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