November 28, 2014 my beautiful 6 1/2 year old niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I was beyond devastated. Then came even more bad news 5 days later when the biopsy came back. She had grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma. How could this happen to a child? An innocent, vivacious, loving and full of life little girl. To be brutally honest it was the worst news I had ever heard and I was terrified that we would lose her. She had her whole life ahead of her. This was not fair!! I went through all the stages of grief and it was hard. In the beginning more bad days than good. I felt guilty for being healthy and happy when she wasn’t, healthy that is. You see, throughout her radiation treatments, 33 of them, she never let it get to her. You would think after brain surgery, losing her hair and the burns from therapy that it would affect her in some negative way. Nope, not her. She was determined to live a normal life, her exact words. I was amazed by this warrior. Her strength and dignity through all of this was admirable to say the least. She had it more together than her auntie. Had she gone through chemo as well there might have been a different outcome. Four years later her scans have been stable and she has thrived!!! She has grown in stature and in wisdom. I hate that our little ones have to endure so much in such a short time on this earth. It breaks my heart but they prove daily to us just how strong they can be. There is hope. There are great Doctors, Nurses, treatment centers, support groups (everyone involved). I’ve learned that I needed my faith as well to get through this. Don’t give up.
Andrea Kevin | Family Member | Ependymoma