Sierra is a 10 year old girl about to enter the 5th grade, with two brothers ages 6 and 9. Sierra was 5 years old when she was first diagnosed with a brain tumor (Pilomyxoid Astrocytoma). Sierra had been sick for a week or so but was just starting to feel a bit better. She was just sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner in 2011 when her mom noticed that something seemed wrong with her eye. They quickly discovered she couldn’t see out of her right eye and rushed in to urgent care where her journey began. After several brain surgeries to deal with the immediate crisis, Sierra started chemotherapy like a trooper. Before the year was through, the tumor grew so she failed off the first chemo but her second attempt was more successful and after over a year of chemotherapy she enjoyed another year of stability. In 2016 the tumor was growing again so she underwent additional surgeries to relieve the pressure in her head. In 2017 she started a new chemotherapy, but recently suspended it to enter a new drug trial.
Unfortunately, her tumor is integrated with other important parts of the brain and visual pathway so cannot be removed completely. This is a life long battle as she attempts to keep it from growing through chemotherapies and when necessary reducing it’s size through surgeries. There are no good treatments so she is eager to try something new that could uncover something more effective for her or other patients. She has endured so many surgeries and doctor visits with very little complaining. She finds joy in animals, especially horses and dogs, and hopes to one day grow to be a veterinarian. In the mean time she manages treatments very well and lives life as “normally” as possible, finding time to get away and enjoy friends and family. She is a fighter and all of us on “Team Sierra” know her to be a Wonder Woman that won’t give up.