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Author: Bayan Azizi
Bayan Azizi was just an average nine-year-old boy playing street hockey with friends and teasing his younger brother and sister when the unthinkable happened. A series of symptoms - a droopy eyelid, a slight speech impediment, some motor difficulties - took him to Children's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia where a CT scan revealed a tumour in his brain stem. The tumour was not cancerous but was located in a place that made complete removal impossible and was intricately connected to the fundamental functions of life such as breathing, heart-rate, and swallowing and this made complete removal impossible. Over the next few years Bayan faced the possibility of death, endured three brain surgeries, maximum radiation, and chemotherapy. He was left with his automatic breathing function permanently compromised, necessitating a tracheostomy, and a loss of the ability to swallow. Paralysis of his vocal chords means that he speaks in the lightest of whispers. The tumour left him permanently confined to a wheelchair and needing daily assistance to survive. The trajectory of Bayan's life went from one with the normal ups and downs to a full-on roller coaster. Now, in his compelling yet humorous autobiography told through the lens of childhood, Bayan shares his life story from early childhood to present times, revealing his grit, his down-to-earth acceptance, and his determination to live a full life.
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