Maddie Highfill

My name is Maddie and I’m 12 years old. I found out I had a brain tumor when I was 8 years old. I had several months of headaches that my doctor thought were migraines and I was trying to drink more water and take Tylenol but it didn’t help. Then one night I had a brain MRI and it turned out I had a brain tumor. I went into the hospital and had brain surgery 5 days later, on a Tuesday. After surgery I had to take medications including salt tabs which were pretty gross and made me throw up. Several weeks later, I needed a second brain surgery after the fluid was building up around my brain. Since then I haven’t needed any other treatments but I go every 3 months for an MRI scan to watch my brain tumor and sometimes the doctors talk about whether I might need treatment in the future. When I go to get my MRI scans, I usually get to see Tseion, who is my favorite MRI tech and always tries to make it as fun as possible. MRIs can be scary if it’s your first time but now that I’ve done so many it’s not so bad. 

 

I’m doing well now. I swim on the swim team (butterfly is my best stroke) and my favorite subjects in school are Math and Social Studies. It's important to me to raise money for Lilabean Foundation so all kids are helped and all kids have a chance to beat brain cancer if they get it.

Diagnosis Date:
October 18, 2017

Age at Diagnosis:
8 years old

Age Now:

12 years old

Type of Brain Cancer:
Low Grade Glioma

Summary of Treatment:
  Two Brain Surgeries

"Maddie was 8 when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. At the time she was diagnosed, research had come far enough to know that for her type of tumor, surgery alone might be all the treatment she needs. One decade earlier, Maddie would also have had radiation and chemotherapy. She may still need those treatments in the future, but her oncology team has felt comfortable watching and waiting (and worrying) for now because of what they know about her type of tumor. We feel so fortunate that Maddie’s type and location of brain tumor required two surgeries and ongoing monitoring, but may not need additional treatment. And if she does need treatment in the future, there may be something newer and less toxic available for her. For so many other kids, these treatment options are urgent and there is no time to waste. We are honored to partner with the Lilabean Foundation in this important and lifesaving work"
-Jessica Colburn, Maddie's Mom

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