Kayla Berdis: My story: I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 12. My tumor is called a ganglioglioma and was found in the left side of my head (left temporal lobe). I had surgery to remove the tumor and two months later, had my second surgery at age 13. The tumor grew back and I had a third surgery while I was in 10th grade, at the age of 15. If you were to look at me, I appear like a “normal” person, however, the inside of my brain is missing a section (where the tumor was) and this causes me issues.
What does being a brain tumor survivor mean to me?
It means creating a new “normal” life, because my life was changed forever. I’ve dealt with homebound school, memory issues and fatigue, and still have issues today. I had plans to be in the U.S. Army, but that also changed. Due to the tumor and subsequent surgeries I am not eligible for military service. It is disheartening because that’s what I have been preparing for the last 4 years in JROTC.
But I’m a SURVIVOR and even though my brain tumor affected my life, I found a way to move forward. I’m still going to be the outgoing, determined , strong-willed person I am today and look forward to my future.
This is a fundraiser for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation which is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable organization who find the cause of and the cure for childhood brain tumors. They also, provide educational and emotional support for children and families affect by childhood brain tumors.
There are more than 612,000 people in the U.S. are living with a brain tumor.
There are over 28,000 children that are diagnosed with a brain tumor.
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