Team Hope: Sarah's Story

One of the many teams coming together for the Chatham-Kent Spring Sprint is Team Hope, led by local survivor Sarah. In June 2011, after several months of headaches, vision problems and balance trouble, Sarah’s symptoms hit a critical point. After a morning of nausea and a severe headache, she decided to leave work early. During the drive home, she felt extremely unwell, pulled her car over and called for a ride.

Before long she was in the emergency room and being sent for a CT scan. This test and exams by the doctors led to a diagnosis of a severe migraine, so she and her husband headed home around five in the morning. “I planned to get some sleep and head into work in the afternoon,” Sarah recalls. But those plans changed when the doctor called again just a few hours later. “He said I needed to come back to the ER. The scan had been re-reviewed and something had shown up.”

The return to the hospital involved a second CT scan and then an MRI. It was then that they confirmed there was tumour on Sarah’s pituitary gland; it was thought the tumour was non-malignant. “I knew I hadn’t been feeling ‘right’ but this torrent of information certainly made me numb and very anxious,” Sarah recalls “and then there was the six week wait for potential surgery.”

While those six weeks felt like a lifetime, Sarah underwent a range of tests and met with a variety of specialists, including an endocrinologist and ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist. And six weeks later, she underwent an innovative endoscopic surgery and as part of the surgery, the tumour was tested and confirmed to be non-malignant.

Following her diagnosis, Sarah turned to her own research to learn more. Before long she found a link for Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada, “I did a lot of reading of others’ stories,” she explains, “that connection to others really helped.” She says, “I had such amazing support from my family, my husband and friends but finding that connection with someone else who is in your shoes helps in its own important way.”

Now, Sarah is giving back to the community with her support for the upcoming Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk) with Team Hope. “Hope means so much to me and my family. It is what got us through my journey and gets me through every day now.”

 

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Story posted: May 2012
 


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