Jed’s Story: Two-time Brain Tumour Survivor

Jed’s Story: Two-time Brain Tumour Survivor

My name is Jed Terrence Rico Luna and I am a two-time, long-term brain tumour survivor. When I had my first brain tumour I was just 10-years-old. I am thankful that SickKids Hospital was there to help me. I was especially grateful because I was a new immigrant to Canada, with my parents and sister, from the Philippines. When this event happened it was a shocker.

I was just a grade five student and for this tumour to come and hit me at such a young age was so shocking to myself and my parents. From what I remember, my parents drove to the nearest hospital and the staff told my parents to drive to SickKids. I was soon diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumour which was treated by surgery and radiation.

I lost some of my vision and memory from the tumour and the treatment and I spent a lot of time at the hospital regaining my health and learning to live with limited vision. The staff from that hospital were remarkable. Today, now that I’m a grown-up I have my MRI and checkups at Princess Margaret Hospital.

Since that diagnosis I have lived with seizures throughout my high school and early college years. I was still having MRI’s and check-ups by my doctor and taking medication to try to control the seizures. Unfortunately, the seizures were a somewhat regular occurrence and the medication didn’t seem to be helping. For example, my first year at Humber College, there was an incident where I found myself waking up at a hospital near the school. It turned out I had had a seizure at school. They tried to put me on a new medication to help control the seizures.

Then just as I turned 22, the seizures became aggressive again. I was hospitalized for two weeks and had both an MRI and CT scan. Then, after I was discharged, I got a call from the doctor. My tumour was growing again. They recommended I have surgery, again.

My parents and I were really scared about the small risk the surgeon told us about of me losing my voice, but I said, “I am a determined person and I can do this again ta second time around.”

The surgery was September 18, 2012 and I survived again. All I remember was feeling really weak and losing my vision again. Afterwards, I had an appointment with the surgeon and my doctor that I had to go through radiation again. I was told this would be six-seven weeks and I was glad to get through that radiation again.

Overall, I am just grateful that I’m still around with all the support from my family by my side; from my parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. As well as my friends and all the staff of my healthcare team.

I am limited to what I can now do with my vision and body, but that doesn’t stop me to keep continuing my life the best I can.

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