Sharon's Story: Supporting Chatham Spring Sprint

Sharon's Story: Supporting Chatham Spring Sprint

Early in the spring of 2011, local mother of four Sharon began to have headaches. Initially, they started mild, and most often times, ibuprofen would help to alleviate their symptoms. As the weeks progressed, they began to get more debilitating; to the point that she was not able to hold her head up during an ‘episode’.

Sharon began to see her family physician for help, and he began prescribing migraine medications, and advised me that if they continued to get worse, to go the emergency department for injections to relieve the pain. He concluded that they were simply tension headaches because the muscles in my neck seemed to be quite tight. She says, “I was a student – and he thought that juggling school and home life was causing stress.”

Sharon remembers, “I began waking up during the night with torturing headaches, and within a few months, I began seeing the chiropractor and massage therapist for assistance. The massage therapist noted how tight my neck muscles were, and requested that I have frequent visits a few times a week. The chiropractor was seeing me regularly as well, and was doing neck manipulation. After a series of sessions, my symptoms were getting worse, followed with blurry vision and I was advised to keep being persistent with my family doctor, because clearly SOMETHING was not normal.”

By the fall, the headaches were debilitating and Sharon’s vision began to deteriorate. So she went to the eye doctor. This visit in late September led to seeing an Ophthalmologist and then a referral for an MRI and a neurologist visit. The neurologist planned for a procedure on October 6th, following Sharon’s planned MRI on October 5th. That procedure never happened. On October5th, after her MRI, Sharon and her husband learned she had a brain tumour.

Two days later, on Thanksgiving weekend, Sharon underwent brain surgery. When her children came to visit her in before her surgery, Sharon remember, “I kept my chin up, and said “I will see you soon!” all the while thinking that I might not.”
Sharon’s surgery was scheduled for six hours but she was out and in recovery in just three-and-a-half. The tumour was diagnosed as a Meningioma. Today Sharon has monitoring MRIs done every three months. Following her surgery, Sharon found that, “My vision improved, my speech, my memory, ability to walk – everything!”

Today Sharon has finished her education, with honours and she says most importantly, “My kids still have their mother – and I get to watch them grow up with the love of my life”

“Not a moment goes by when I don’t think about how lucky I actually was. To think that in a split second, had my decisions been any different than they were, where would I be? I am so thankful to be here, and to have such wonderful supporters. My family, friends and the knowledgeable staff who were quick thinking are the reasons why I’m here. Every Thanksgiving holds and extra special meaning for me and my family!”

This spring, Sharon and her family are reflecting back on her journey and raising funds and awareness through the Chatham-Kent Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk). “The members of Team Strength & Perseverance have been my support system throughout my brain tumour journey. Now their support is helping me make a difference for others by raising money for brain tumour research, support and education. Together we can make a difference!”

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Story posted: April 2013

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