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Published on May 12, 2015 in Share Your Story



Winter Kate

My name is Winter Kate. I was born a happy, red haired, miracle child. My mommy wasn’t supposed to be able to have anymore kids, but I decided I was coming. Then the doctors told my mommy she would most likely miscarry me, but I’m too much of a fighter for that.

Then once I was born my mommy and daddy noticed my eyes kept moving back and forth. The doctors told my mommy and daddy that it wasn’t anything to worry about. But my mommy and daddy could tell I couldn’t see very well and my pupils weren’t the same size so my mommy and daddy took me to an opthamologist who said I had small optic nerves and nystagmus. My mommy wanted a second opinion so I went to another one. The doctor said I had optic nerve hypoplasia, but wasn’t completely blind. My mommy decided I needed to see a neurologist and get a MRI just to make sure I didn’t have anything wrong with my brain or my plates.

When I went in for my MRI we found a big surprise. I had a tumor in my little head that was the size of my mommy’s fist and was a quarter the size of my brain. Daddy and mommy were really scared. It was causing the fluid in my head to build up and cause pressure so I went straight to PICU. Three days later I had to get a really big brain surgery that ended up lasting a little over 14 hours! My awesome neurosurgeon was able to remove 75% of the tumor, but unfortunately he had to remove my optic nerves. It took a while to get the results on the type of tumor I had but when my mommy and daddy finally found out, we were all confused and shocked. I had TWO kinds of tumors. One inside the other. Made of 2 different cells and everything! The bulk of it was a very non aggressive not very malignant tumor made of giocells. They usually are really small and you don’t even know you have them until you are more grown up. But inside my non aggressive tumor was a very aggressive bad tumor made of a neuron cell. My oncologist is consulting with other pediatric oncologist and my second opinion pathologist from the mayo clinic has sent it off for third and fourth opinions. Because they don’t fall into a classification of a type they don’t know what it will do.

It’s really scary. I have been being so tough in ICU since my surgery on 4/23/15. My mommy and daddy have been by my side and I have all kinds of people praying for me. My family has been helping my mommy and daddy in every way they can. I’m a fighter and it makes it a whole lot easier fighting with such a big and great support. There’s people all over praying for me too. People I have never even met. I feel so blessed. And although I lost my sight and am nowhere close to being recovered yet I believe I will be just fine in the end.

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