Ann's Story: "We really needed this special day"

Ann's Story: "We really needed this special day"

Ann shares her family's journey in support of Brain Tumour Awareness Month

In 2007, just days before Ann was to give birth to her third child, her middle son started having fevers and unusual movement of his left eye. A quick trip to the doctor resulted in antibiotics for Anthony and the family returned home and waited to welcome their new addition.

Three weeks later, the Dookeran-Ramsewaks’ lives took an unexpected turn.

Anthony was rushed to the hospital where an MRI would show a lesion on his brainstem. Keeping an eye on the mass, doctors opted to wait and see whether or not it would grow or impact Anthony’s life further. Over the course of three years, the lesion would grow to 2cms and Anthony’s symptoms worsened.

Though worried about the delicate area the tumour sat on, Ann’s son’s care team decided they would take the risk and operate immediately. More than a year of chemotherapy would follow the surgery, as well as several more visits to the hospital for complications with Anthony’s treatment.

In 2012, the family joined BrainWAVE, the pediatric support program. It was a chance for them to connect with other parents and children on the brain tumour journey. Recently, it was at a Caregiver Retreat for BrainWAVE parents that Ann says she found something she’d been missing: self-care. “Initially, I wanted to decline because the kids wouldn’t be there – a guilt trip for sure. But, after some coaxing, I went to the retreat and was pleasantly surprised to find that we all felt this way [guilty], but at the same time we really needed this special day.”

The Caregiver Retreat was a chance for the parents to be themselves, sharing their fears and experiences with a child diagnosed with a brain tumour. “We were able to connect and it helped me understand this journey does not end, but can be travelled with renewed energy and hope,” Ann explains. “I want to thank all the supporters for making this day possible through your kind donations and good wishes.”

When you support a Caregiver Retreat, you help parents become their best selves – you give them the strength and energy for what may come as they navigate treatment, hospital stays, recovery and more.

Give today and help families like Ann’s find the courage to care for their wellbeing and connect with others who understand the challenges and triumphs of the pediatric brain tumour journey.

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Story posted October 2014. Since then, Brain Tumour Awareness Month has moved to May.

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