Because of the research supported by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation we just celebrated Maddie's 10-year brain tumor survivor anniversary!
Just a little background info on Maddie for those of you who may not be familiar with our story.... In February 2002, a little over a month after Maddie's third birthday, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, an oligodendroglioma. She had been having "staring spells" for several weeks, and we discovered they were actually seizures after an appointment with her pediatrician. Maddie had two surgeries to remove the tumor...one in February and one in April 2002. The post-operative MRI in April confirmed the surgery was successful...that her neurosurgeon was able to remove all of the tumor. Thankfully, Maddie did not have to receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy. She had MRIs every three months to begin with to check for tumor re-growth. Over time the MRIs were spread out until she "graduated" to yearly MRIs. That was a happy day! She still has an annual MRI & sees her doctors during brain tumor clinic. The wonderful people at the Aflac Cancer Center have taken great care of her over the past 10 years. Maddie also remained on seizure medication after leaving the hospital.
For 6 1/2 wonderful years following her surgery she lived a normal, happy life. However, 3 1/2 years ago she started having breakthrough seizures. We worked with her neurologist to get them back under control. He slowly increased her seizure medication to the highest effective dose. When that didn't work he added another seizure medication to take with the first one, and then he slowly inceased the dosage of that medication until she was taking the maximum effective dose. Nothing helped. She still continued having seizures. At this point our only option is epilepsy surgery. She will undergo the first of two epilepsy surgeries Friday, May 11th. She'll have the second surgery Friday, May 18th, and will hopefully be discharged from the hospital on May 23rd.
Our journey has been a long one...sometimes difficult, sometimes painful...but it has given us a heart for supporting pediatric brain tumor research. Your generous donation will help the PBTF fund more research that will benefit sweet, precious children like Maddie.