For a couple years I was having migraines, electric shock pain throughout my body especially my head and face, numbness and tingling in my feet and hands, sharp pain in my face and teeth, leg and foot cramps, restless legs and blurred vision in my left eye. I was told for 2 years it was anxiety! Finally in 2014, as I sat in a dark doctors office I was told I had 3 brain tumors. I remember feeling relief because now I knew what I was dealing with and I remember the bright sun outside shining through the blinds in the office and as I noticed the hint of light that shined through the office I felt a sense of calm and a sense of purpose.
I knew at that very moment that I was going to make my diagnosis my purpose in life and I was going to be the voice for so many of the silent suffers in the brain tumor community. I knew I was going to advocate on a huge platform and spread awareness and generate funds for The National Brain Tumor Society and at the moment my mission began. Over the last couple years I was relentless in my mission to open the eyes of those that had no clue about the brain tumor journey.
I held numerous fundraising events and I created a social media challenge called The Rock Out Brain Tumors Air Guitar Challenge that went viral and landed me on a number of local news interviews, tv talk shows, and radio shows. My story and mission was featured a number of times in newspapers and magazines leading me to raise thousands of dollars for the National Brain Tumor Society. On 2/26/2019 I underwent brain surgery at The University Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and had one of the three brain tumors removed because it grew significantly in size. While in the hospital I took pictures of my head and shared on social media exactly how I was feeling.
I recorded how I progressed every day while I recovered and I received messages from other brain tumors patients thanking me for inspiring them and helping them to realize that they will get through everything they face while battling brain tumors and they are not alone. I have a long road ahead of me recovering and I do not know what the future has in store for me in dealing with the remaining two brain tumors but I do know that I will never let this illness define who I am and I will continue to help others through my own experiences as I know so many people feel alone and in the dark while fighting their illness and I will be the hint of light in their lives and I will fight and speak up for all of us in this journey.
To all in the fight, to the survivors, and to those that lost their battle to brain tumor–as long as I open my eyes I will be sure to keep spreading the awareness and living life to the fullest as we all should.