Katelyn Ann Prasnel

From the day Katelyn was born, all she did was smile. She was the happiest little thing, and loved life to the fullest. We were vacationing in Va., when she started to vomit sporadically. It started as once every two weeks to every other day, we took her in to see our physician and he thought it was a nervous stomach with the start of Middle school and Cheerleading.

The vomiting continued and I took her back to see the physician that I personally knew and the first thing he made Katelyn do was to get up and walk, which I thought was strange. Then he did this thing with her eyes, and that's when he caught something was very wrong. He wanted Katelyn to have a CAT scan. He said that we would know from that, but the technician's never said anything so we thought that everything was ok until the next morning when I heard from our doctor and he wanted Katelyn to go in for an emergency MRI. A CT scan was performed and then an emergency MRI, which revealed a medulloblastoma, an infratentorial tumor usually found only in children or young adults.

Getting Katelyn to lie down on the table had to be the hardest, she cried that she gets very dizzy when she lays down. My husband and I waited patiently in the office where you could watch through the glass, for the results, and to our shock the technician laid down the scans on the table and all we saw was "BRAIN TUMOR". My husband just started crying and I was numb all over. The chief doctor called us at the imaging center and instructed us where to go to meet the Pediatric Neurologist and Intensive Care Pediatrician. They did confirm that she had a malignant B/T, a Medulloblastoma that was wrapped around the brainstem and because of the size of it they had to do surgery quickly. The next day, Katelyn went in for a six hour surgery and they were able to remove 85% of the tumor until they did another MRI and found that they removed 95%. Katelyn's protocol consisted of a year of CCNU, Cisplatin and Vincrystine. After the surgery, Katelyn lost the use of the right side of her body, but with intensive P/T & O/T, she now takes horse back riding lessons and she can go up and down stairs without holding on.

Katelyn's life has changed so much from this; she has lost all her friends and does not have much of a social life which I hope will change in time.

We have so much to be thankful for, Katelyn was dx'd 10/98 with Medulloblastoma and it will be five years in October that she is cancer free.