In late November 2017, Gracie started winking a lot and was having a hard time moving the right side of her face. Although there were no signs of problems, her parents took her to the pediatrician. When the doctor noticed her balance was off, a neurologist was consulted and an MRI was ordered just to be safe. On December 1, doctors discovered a tumor on her brain stem.
Gracie was admitted to the hospital that night and surgery was performed to biopsy the tumor. Doctors discovered the tumor was through and around her brain stem. She was officially diagnosed with glioblastoma. The next morning, she endured a second brain surgery to reduce the mass and radiation treatments began immediately. Over the next year, Gracie will need 30-40 sessions of radiation therapy in addition to oral chemotherapy.
Over the last month, Gracie has gone from being a happy, healthy kid, to entirely losing the use of the right side of her face (no blinking, smiling, or chewing) and losing muscle control of the left side of her body. She now needs help to eat, bathe, and use the bathroom. Gracie must now use a walker to get around.
On the bright side, doctors are pleased with her process and energy levels since the operation. The hope lies in a Phase 1 clinical trial offered in San Francisco. However, in order to be eligible for this treatment, Gracie and her mom must move to California while her dad and brother stay in Oregon.