Her Story . . .
Haley was an active little girl. She loved soccer, animals, and to make people laugh. On January 2, 2013, her life changed forever. Her parents had noticed many changes throughout the fall of 2012. Haley had complained of some headaches, but what caught their attention mostly was clumsiness and drastic changes in her behavior. Mom and Dad were her biggest advocates to get more testing done.
On January 2, 2013, she had her first MRI. They were then set up with John Hopkins Hospital for her first brain surgery. On January 18, 2013, the surgeon removed as much tumor as possible, for the tumor was weaved around nerves . The tumor was diagnosed as a low grade glioma. A low grade glioma is defined as a slow growing tumor that presses on healthy parts of the brain, affecting the functions they control. Chemotherapy began orally on February 14, 2013. Haley went on an oral and IV chemo rotation. Along with the chemo, the steroids (to help with the swelling of the brain), physical and occupational therapy Haley began to fight this cancer! She learned to become left handed while continuing to work on her right side. She did amazing! Slowly she was being taken off the steroids. In the fall she returned to school. Her MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk and was stable. Haley was doing amazing. Then, she started to have issues again. She wouldn’t be able to speak. The words just wouldn’t come out. It scared her. MRI after MRI was done. She was diagnosed with a stress syndrome. In January of 2014 we had an end of chemo celebration at a local restaurant. The next day an MRI was scheduled. It was not the good news she had been fighting for. A new tumor was growing near the original, and another tumor was growing in the frontal lobe. The journey is not over. A stronger, harder fight was about to begin.
Haley had her second brain tumor surgery in February of 2014 to biopsy the new, fast growing tumor. The biopsy came back as stage 3 Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Very aggressive in form, which require much more aggressive treatment. Astrocytomas can appear in various parts of the brain and nervous system. The appearance is they tend to have tentacle-like projections that grow into surrounding tissue. With this new diagnosis, Haley began a 6 week radiation and chemotherapy schedule. Along with this she also needed PT, OT, speech therapy, and school tutoring. She worked so unbelievably hard, and so we coined the term “HALEYSTRONG”. During this time Haley also battled a virus and with the radiation, she began to loose her hair. In Haley’s June MRI it depicted that the tumor had stopped growing and the frontal lobe tumor had disappeared. A summer of celebration was ahead!
Haley began to have reoccurring issues in September of 2014, memory loss, issues seeing clearly, depth deficits. The MRI showed new tumor growth of the brain stem Astrocytoma, and other tumors throughout the brain. She began a new chemotherapy, and was awaiting a clinical trial to begin in November.
Haley’s battle was over on October 23, 2014. June 7, 2005-October 23, 2014. Forever 9 years old.