From the day Kimberlyn tried to start walking, her mother knew that something wasn’t right. At two years old, she was still stumbling and had no balance as though she was only 12 months old. They tried going to physical therapy but it only got worse—she lost feeling in her feet and cried every time she was asked to walk. Finally, she came to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger to receive an MRI and her mother learned the worst. Kimberlyn was diagnosed with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer. The tumor was pressing on her cerebellum and causing her to lose feeling in her feet. In addition, it was determined that Kimberlyn also had a tumor on her spine.
Kimberlyn had a six-hour surgery to remove the brain tumor and her physicians were able to remove all of it. This allowed her to begin balanced walking again without pain. The tumor on her spine would not need surgery but Kimberlyn would have to endure quite a few rounds of chemotherapy and, eventually, radiation. Over a year later, her brain tumor is 100% gone and the tumor on her spine shrinks more and more every day! Thankfully, today Kimberlyn is walking, talking, and playing like most normal three year olds. Her mother says, “She is my hero!”