ABTA

Tap Dancing Through Life

Holly Mullett has the distinction of tap dancing in a recital less than two months after she had a craniotomy to remove a meningioma that she named “Kyle.”

“I am a very happy and positive person. I believe this is one of the factors that helped me with my diagnosis,” says Mullett, a resident of Andover, New Hampshire who is married with a 21-year-old daughter.

Diagnosed in March of 2014, she experienced no symptoms, but one particular Thursday afternoon she was trying to put on eye shadow and when she closed her left eye she found her right eye to be very blurry, which was strange because she had perfect vision.  After a couple of weeks, she visited an optometrist, who referred her to an ophthalmologist who told her she needed an MRI that very day.

“The call came a couple of hours later and that news would change my life. I was terrified. I had a brain tumor, was I going to die?” After visiting a neuro-ophthalmologist and a neurosurgeon, she was scheduled for a craniotomy to extract the tumor, which could not be completely removed due to its location near the optic nerve and sinus cavity. It would be the very first surgery she had ever had.

She says she recovered quickly, experiencing some memory loss, headaches and impaired vision. But then two years later, after feeling great for some time, she experienced sudden vision impairment again. She underwent 28 rounds of IMRT radiation, which was completed in May of 2017.

“I feel amazing today. I have Kyle hanging out in my head but he is not growing thanks to the findings of a recent MRI. I am thankful to the American Brain Tumor Association for letting me give back. I am thankful for all the support from my family, friends and my faith…not sure if I could have survived without the support.”

Mentoring another patient with a similar diagnosis is what Mullett means by “giving back”. “I made a deal with God that if I could make it through this, I would find a way to give back. I felt that mentoring helped me heal myself and no one understands how it feels to have a brain tumor more than someone who has gone through it.”

Also a lover of golf and theater, Mullett, says she has been dancing for 29 years and just finished her 29th dance recital. She doesn’t expect to quit any time soon.

“I love to tap dance!”


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