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Jason Andris

I was diagnosed with  Neurofibromatosis (NF) at six months old. NF is when tumors grow on nerve endings and brain tumors are frequent with this disease. Doctors told my mom that if I lived through my teen years then I would be fine and the disease would more than likely never affect me. At age twenty I began having severe headaches and assumed I needed reading glasses. My life changed within a matter of minutes of seeing my eye doctor. He explained he thought I may have a brain tumor and I was immediately sent for MRI. I was diagnosed with an astrocytoma on my brain stem later that day and had craniotomy (brain surgery) that following week. One-quarter was left due to location on the brain stem. Following this I have had a shunt placed, gamma knife radiation, chemotherapy injected into the tumor and several more brain surgeries including one that was uncharted territory for doctors near my brain stem that resulted in a stroke. The stroke required copious amounts of therapy relearning to walk and talk in my mid twenties. I have since recovered fairly well and owe it to God for saving my life. I now walk and live in complete faith praising Him every step of the way. He placed me in a situation that jolted me into his perfect will. 

Donna Sue Perry

At age 13 I began experiencing daily headaches, producing breast milk, and an overall decline in energy resulting in excessive sleepiness. I no longer could participate in basketball or cheerleading due to the impact this had on my life. I was taken to several doctors without any answers other than I was a “late bloomer”. Finally, at age 23 I saw an OBGYN and she instantly diagnosed me with prolactinoma- a tumor on the pituitary causing the production of prolactin. This hormone is elevated during pregnancy and causes infertility and developing diabetes insipidus. A CT scan confirmed the diagnosis and showed a quarter size tumor compressing the optic nerve which explained the frequent headaches.  I was given parlodel to attempt to shrink it without success and eventually had surgery. The surgery relieved my headaches, however my prolactin remained elevated for the next 13 years despite medication. I continued frequent ct scans for a number of years. Finally, at 36 a medication dostinex dropped my prolactin level and I was able to get pregnant that resulted in a miscarriage at eight weeks. At 60 now I no longer require dostinex and prolactin levels have remained stable. However, I will require a medication to regulate my sodium levels due to the diabetes insipidus for the rest of my life. The pituitary tumor altered my life in many ways and if it had not been discovered the outcome could have been different. I cannot stress the importance of listening to your children when they are experiencing symptoms of these kind. No matter how outlandish it may seem. 





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