My name is Aprilann Barbarino. At the age of 12 years old I was drafted as a soldier of Cancer with a medulloblastoma brain tumor.
My life was saved by pediatric neuro-surgeons at NYU Hospital. With chemo and radiation treatment I was in remission A few years after that the cancer came back several more times.
My outrageous warrior family members made sure I reached my remission time and again. Mom, dad, and my twin brothers, Michael and Richard, were by my side every step of the way.
Twenty years after being in remission, cancer had the audacity to attack my mother in the most aggressive fashion, with a glioma brain tumor. Mom was prepared time and again to conquer a battle she had been to so many times with me. Although the odds were against us, we continued to do things our way, not cancer’s.
Mom kept her spunk and vigor like no other. Never in my life did I witness a woman fight like she never fought before. While mom was in palliative care she asked me to do her a favor. She said, “Aprilann, you are a wonderful daughter. Thank you for helping me and daddy. I love you so, so much. I want to ask you one more favor. I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way I did, and the way you did when you were a little girl. If anyone could make a difference in the world, I know it would be you.”
I told mom that I loved her so, so much, and that I would do what ever it takes to make a difference in the lives of those who continue to suffer with cancer.
I chose to target child hood cancer, and brain tumors. As a devoted educator, and para-professional, mom did everything with her heart to meet the needs of all children no matter what their level of difficulty was as a student. As educators, we both enjoyed working at the same school. As an educator, empirical author, and entertainer, I will make sure mom’s request will be granted.