I’m Fueling Hope: Sharon Mottola

When Sharon Mottola first underwent treatment for a meningioma brain tumor in 2012, she was fortunate to experience minimal complications and her recovery progressed rapidly. Less than three months later, Sharon was back working full-time. In fact, because the tumor was thought to be slow-growing, Sharon’s neurosurgeon ordered follow-up MRIs every five years — a longer interval than many patients are prescribed.

Having returned to a normal routine, with the confidence engendered by the liberal follow-up requirement, and experiencing no symptoms similar to what precipitated her first diagnosis, Sharon went for her first five-year follow-up MRI in 2018 “without a care in the world.” She walked out, however, with the diagnosis of another meningioma tumor.

Treatment with radiation has shrunk the new tumor, but unfortunately not all of it was eliminated. She now gets MRI follow-ups every year. She also spends much of her free time giving back to the brain tumor community.

Sharon created a team, Mo-Over Brain Tumors, joined the volunteer planning committee for the Charlotte Brain Tumor Race (now the Carolinas Brain Tumor Race), and has been a fixture at the event since it first began in 2013 – even serving as its chair for a year.

“When I was first diagnosed, I was the first person – and that’s including all of the patients that I’ve come in contact with during my nursing career – that I had ever heard of, or known personally, that had a brain tumor,” says Sharon. “And since then I lost count of how many people I’ve met or spoken to that have or have had brain tumors. It’s incredible to me how many of us are out there. So, when I first started [with NBTS] it was more personal…but over the years it’s kind of grown to the sense of, ‘I’m going to keep doing this for all the people that we’ve lost and for the people that can’t be as involved as much as I can be.’ Because even though I’ve had two [tumors], I’m healthy. I’m lucky and I realize that. So, I’m going to continue to support this organization for all those who aren’t as lucky.”

Sharon is FUELING HOPE using their voices to provide support and advance the needs of brain tumor patients, caregivers, and survivors.

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