Name: Garrett D.
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor
Age of Diagnosis: 5
Status: Medical monitoring at St. Jude Children’s Hospital
Garrett was five years old when he was diagnosed with an Astrocytoma brain tumor. He had lost the use of most of his function in his left arm and hand (we thought due to a fall he had taken).
After going back and forth to several different doctors he had an MRI done at Palms West Hospital on January 24, 2008 - within an hour of the MRI we had the news. But when one of their Neurosurgeons told our pediatrician he thought the tumor was "inoperable" we knew we HAD to get a second opinion. We took Garrett down to Miami Children's Hospital and immediately felt comforted and relieved when Dr. Ragheb told us there was hope for Garrett. Garrett's tumor was the size of a golf ball.
He had brain surgery on Feb 20, 2008. The operation took about 8 hours and although they were not able to remove the entire tumor it was still considered very successful and Garrett regained use of his left arm immediately.
To date Garrett has not had to have chemo or radiation.
We lived in The Acreage from July 27, 2002 until March 12, 2010. We now live in Tennessee and Garrett is a St. Jude patient. He has a whole team of doctors monitoring him and we feel that he is in the BEST possible hands.
Written by Garrett's mom, Jennifer.
Name: Jessica N.
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor
Age of Diagnosis:
Name: Robbie H.
Diagnosis: Brain Tumor
Age of Diagnosis:29
Robbie was diagnosed April, 2004. He had suffered off and on with severe headaches and always attributed those to neck problems from an injury he suffered playing ball in High School. As we’ve looked back at pictures, you can see the days he suffered from headaches and you can tell it in his eyes and face. These headaches started while he lived in the Acreage with Bekah and the kids. They built their house on 76th Road in 2000.
Robbie stood in our kitchen a Friday evening after work in late April 2004. He stopped there and waited for Bekah who was at school. We talked and laughed and it was the last time we as a family had fellowship and laughter with him. It was the last time we remembered a healthy walking and breathing son. Saturday he spent another day in bed with a severe headache. We didn’t see him as Bekah stayed home all day with him and the two kids.
Barb and I were in Vero Beach at the Cracker Barrel at 60 and I95 when we got the call on the cell phone. Bekah had gone to SS and Church and came home and found Robbie laying in the shower with the water running. He had passed out in the shower from what we found out later was a massive bleed or hemorrhaging on the brain from the tumor. Paramedics took him to Palms West who in turn made arrangements for him to be taken to St. Marys.
In intensive care at St. Marys we first learned that Robbie may never awaken to see us again. Prayer went up around the globe with family. We stayed and slept at the hospital. Elders sat with us 24/7 in the Hospital and prayed. Barb watched the kids while Bekah and I went back to St. Marys to meet with the neurologist on Monday. That was a day we’ll never forget. Robbie’s x-ray and brain scan showed a tumor the size of a man fist and it was sitting on top of the stem, inoperable.
Robbie survived that to begin all the treatment for a brain tumor. He was 29yrs old and was like a 70yr old that had a stroke. His left side was the worst and he was left handed. We went to Moffitt in Tampa and opened every door we could to talk to Doctors. Nobody wanted to give us the facts that this killer tumor most people only live 3-13months.
By Fathers Day in June, he was able to walk with assistance. Therapy and steroids seemed to keep things going for him. He and Bekah had tickets already for a planned trip to Oregon to Bekah’s parents. Doctors said risky, but it might be good for him. While there he took a turn for the worst while in the Hospital in Longview, Washington. Doctors told Bekah to get him home ASAP. He went from the Hospital directly to Portland to fly home. Bekah was transporting a person near death along with a toddler and baby.
Things got worse when he got home in August and in Good Samaritan Hospital they sat us down to talk about Hospice. Good Samaritan Hospital was where Robbie was born in 1974 and I actually walked downstairs to see the nursery where I first held him in my arms. They transferred Robbie at Noon on August 25, 2004 and by 7pm that night he passed. All of us were in bed with him and hugged and cried together. The Pastor who baptized him in 1974 was there that night to pray over him and give him back to the Lord. His service in Wellington the night of August 29th was standing room only. Many had to stand outside. We held off burial as Hurricanes Francis and Jeanne came to South Florida while Robbie waited in the Palms West Funeral Home. Robbie was 29 when he died and just short of his 30th birthday on that coming September 12.
Written by Robbie's dad.
Name: Elizabeth A.
Diagnosis:Gall Bladder Cancer
Age of Diagnosis:67
My name is Cathy H. and my family used to live in the Acreage for 14yrs. My parents moved to Hobe Sound, Fl in the summer of 2006. In June of 2009 my then very strong and healthy mother was diagnosed with gall bladder cancer. On May 23, 2010 she died in my arms. She was 6 days shy of her 69th birthday.
Written by her daughter, Cathy.