Welcome to Nidia's Personal Page
Thank you for visiting my personal page and helping me to reach my fundraising goal in honor of my mom, Monique.
I am joining the fight against brain cancer by participating in the UT Go Grey 5K Salt Lake City event hosted by Head for the Cure and Utah Brain Tumor Alliance. Both organizations are dedicated to raising funds and awareness for brain cancer research.
My mom fought her brain tumor and all the deficits that came along with it, for 42 long years. She was the bravest and strongest person I've ever known, my hero.
She was diagnosed immediately after giving birth to her third child in 1977 and was rushed to emergency surgery. After her 2nd surgery, in 1981, she was told she only had maybe a year to live. She was determined to live each day as fully as possible and enjoy every minute she could with her children. Told she would never drive again, she worked hard to regain her driver's license, modifying the car, so that she could chauffeur them around to all their activities and events. Eventually the brain tumor would rear its ugly head again and she faced her 3rd craniotomy in 2000. She was fully incapacitated for those last years she fought, for 19 years.
Because her brain tumor was on the brain stem at the skull base, only a 20% resection was possible with her first 2 craniotomies. Her 3rd surgery, and last one, increased resection was possible because of more thorough scans. But it came with additional setbacks. She had a stroke immediately after surgery and hydrocephalus a week after that, necessitating a shunt to be placed to remove fluid. A tracheotomy became necessary because of continued respiratory dependency on the vent. She was completely incapacitated and communication was limited. We had to learn to lip-read, but it was difficult for her to form words because of the fluid pushed up from the trache. It was extremely frustrating and exhausting for her. We ended up resorting to yes and no blinks most of the time.
Monique had about 20 occurrences of pneumonia in the 19 years, despite pneumonia vaccinations, that weakened her heart and lungs (one that remained partially collapsed). The tracheotomy was wearing down her skin, which left a leak and diminished the amount of oxygen she was able to get.
Despite all these struggles, she always wanted to befriend and help anyone else in need. She was a nurse, and prior to getting married, traveled to Guatemala to build a medical clinic in the small town of Cunen. She loved getting to know and helping the people down there.
She loved to cook and was constantly trying out new recipes and gadgets, ergonomic ones and ones devised to make cooking easier for her. She was in several luncheon groups and book clubs. She read several books at a time and was a huge movie buff. Monique got into container gardening, so she could access the garden beds from her wheelchair.
Monique had a contagious laugh and found joy in her daily life. She never thought she would see her grandchildren, so they were precious to her, as were her children. She fought with every breath, to be with the people she loved.
Each year, over 80,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. More than 120 types of brain tumors exist, making effective treatment complicated. Cutting edge research is needed as we continue to make strides in this fight.
Head for the Cure and the Utah Brain Tumor Alliance work to inspire hope for the community of brain cancer patients, their families, friends, caregivers and other supporters, while celebrating their courage, spirit and energy. Every event marks a day of celebration where those diagnosed with brain cancer are honored and celebrated by their friends and families, those who have lost their battles are remembered, and we are all inspired to carry on the fight.
Funds raised by Head for the Cure and Utah Brain Tumor Alliance support the Huntsman Cancer Institute, Musella Foundation and the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative, a network of medical centers with the expertise and the desire to participate in state-of-the-art clinical trials investigating new treatments for malignant brain tumors.
Please consider making a donation today to help me reach my goal and to help us defeat brain cancer, step by step!
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