Victoria's Story: "Life is what you make of it"

Victoria's Story: "Life is what you make of it"

Full of life, excited for upcoming family trips and radiating joy, to speak to Victoria Burghardt, you’d never know that she has a brain tumour. Until earlier last year, neither did she. “I’d never even heard of brain tumours before my diagnosis” said Victoria.

Victoria is a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful young children.  Her youngest was nearing her first birthday when in late 2014, Victoria began having "wild headaches at night" which were most unusual. A CT scan in February 2015 showed a large brain tumour, and Victoria was immediately taken to emergency care. MRI's followed and soon after that, surgery removed a large portion of the tumour.  The biopsy revealed it was a stage 3 anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, a combination of two brain tumour types: astrocytoma and oligodendroglioma. Radiation and chemotherapy followed, and life continued.
 
While at the hospital, Victoria heard about Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada and the Brain Tumour Walk. “Oh, I just have to do that!” was Victoria’s reaction. After signing up to do the fundraising walk, donations began flooding in from friends, family and even strangers. Victoria is proud that her name was near the top of the National Grand Club leaderboard for 2015. For the day of the walk in May 2015, there was such great energy at the event that Victoria was inspired to walk the entire 5km course, despite the effects of her radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
 
When asked about her diagnosis, Victoria had this to say:
 
"Your life can change in an instant, but you have to take what you've got and go with it.  You can dwell on what's wrong, or you can focus on what's positive and what's possible.  I live for each day.  I continue to create great memories with my wonderful husband and our loving family, I'm traveling and enjoying my life and the people around me, and I look forward to a long and happy future. Whether you have a brain tumour or not, your experience of your life is always what you make of it.  You just have to decide."
 
Thank you Victoria for sharing your story and for making such an impact on the lives of many with the funds raised from the Brain Tumour Walk! The movement to end brain tumours is stronger because of you.

Update, August 2017: We are deeply saddened to hear that Victoria has passed away. 

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Story posted in February 2016


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