Two springs ago, our daughter, Rosemary, at 2.5 years old, was diagnosed with a massive pilocytic astrocytoma.
It's a low grade tumour, but it's anything but benign. It is centrally located and its effects have shaped her life for the last two years and will continue to shape the way she sees and navigates the world for the rest of her life. While doctors were able to remove about 80% of the tumour, the remaining tumour cannot be removed and poses an ongoing threat to her health and well being if it grows.
Around the time of the surgery, Rosie also suffered a stroke that essentially took out her right side. She lost vision in her left eye and some speech.
In the last two years, Rosie has worked her way back through intensive physical and occupational therapy. She wears a brace on her right leg and glasses to protect her unaffected eye. She's gaining more and more function in her right arm every day. She's two months away from completing her first 68-week course of low-dose chemotherapy. Her brain tumour is not malignant, but she's been pushing back against it since April 2018.
The experience has been a layer cake of devastation and struggle, piled with hard-won success, joy, and the very best parts of humanity: love, innovation, and community.
Team Layer Cake has been named to represent all the worst bits of this disease and to sandwich all of that between all the best bits that have gotten us through and will continue to get Rosie through whatever the disease brings her in the future. And it's all covered in frosting...and that's never a bad thing. :)
Last year, we didn't have it in us to walk, but this year we're all stronger and we want to stand with other kids and families that face brain tumours of all kinds. We plan to make it an annual event to support the research, education, and support services provided by the Brain Tumour Foundation.
This is a Canada-wide effort to end brain tumours and to help provide the essential information and support that every person diagnosed deserves.
All money raised through Brain Tumour Walk events strengthens the national movement to end this life-changing disease and brings hope to individuals and families across the country:
Hope for progress in discovering the cause of brain tumours.
Hope for better treatments for every child and adult diagnosed.
And most of all, the hope for a cure.
Thank you for supporting me, and more importantly, for helping the 55,000 Canadians who live with a brain tumour today.
We'd love and appreciate it if you could help us meet our goal, or join the team and walk with us.
With love and so much gratitude,
Katy, Rob, Owen and Rosie
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