Our Victorious Warrior

Our Victorious Warrior

Nicole was a very active three year old who enjoyed skiing, skating, dance,gymnastics and swimming. She was learning her alphabet and loved to write.

But in the Spring, things changed for Nicole - and our whole family. We noticed that one side of Nicole's face was paralysed and that her smile was not symmetrical. Every morning she was nauseous, and often felt dizzy. At first, we thought it was just the flu, but Nicole's dizzy spells got worse.

At the hospital CT and MRI scans revealed that Nicole had a cancerous brain tumour. As any parent could imagine, the emotional ride was terrifying. Nicole endured nearly 16 hours of surgery but the surgeon's weren't able to remove all of her tumour. We were warned that a small piece attached to the brain stem would likely cause severe motor dysfunction.

For Nicole this would prove to be as difficult to overcome as the cancer treatments. I recall back to when we named her Nicole Victoria which means "victorious warrior". I thought if there is anything in a name, I'll take it.

Nicole's little body was traumatized by the surgery and she stayed in the hospital for five months. She had two huge mountains to overcome - cancer and relearning basic functions like walking and talking. Our doctor and his team at the cancer centre were compassionate and positive in their support. Nicole went through two more surgeries and began chemotherapy that Fall.

Four years later, Nicole is looking forward to grade two and is keen to learn to read. She still struggles but uses a walker very well. She likes her "cool" pink and purple hearing aids which help compensate for hearing loss. Her speech articulation, although slow, has improved tremendously.

She is currently recovering from her second eye surgery to straighten her eyes and she'll begin hormone replacement therapy soon. Nicole is now seven. She has a great sense of humour and makes all of her friends smile. She loves being active, so we look to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to fill up our calendar with exciting BrainWAVE events.

As a parent, the daily struggles we face would be so much more difficult without this amazing organization! She has had challenges forced upon her in spades but will always be our little "victorious warrior"!

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