Medulloblastoma and the Ripple Effect
Special Feature Article Written by, Mikaela E. Palmer Pensacola, FL; 2018
Medulloblastoma and the Ripple Effect
Mikaela E. Palmer Pensacola, FL
What is medulloblastoma?
Medulloblastoma is a cancerous tumor that grows from the base of the skull, the posterior fossa, and can affect other parts of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of medulloblastoma include headaches, sudden nausea, vomiting, sudden changes in vision, and loss of motor skills. Medulloblastoma is relatively common among brain tumors in children, accounting for about 20 percent of all brain tumor related diagnoses. Most brain stem tumors effect children under the age of sixteen and devastate up to 500 families a year.
How is it treated?
The first step in treating a medulloblastoma related tumor is to surgically remove as much of the tumor as possible. Once a significant amount of the tumor has been removed, children then receive dosages of radiation. In most patients, doctors are able to remove most of the tumor, leaving parts around the brain stem to ensure movement of other part of the body. Chemotherapy, the most common form of cancer treatments, is an aggressive medicine that kills/stops the growth of cells in the body.
Who is helping?
Children and their families are affected everyday by the harsh reality of childhood cancer. It often takes toles on the child's mental health and strain relationships among family members, even after successful treatment regimes. Companies such as the St. Baldrick's Foundation, put funding and donations into finding a cure for all types of childhood cancers. Volunteers and scientists from St. Baldrick's often put their best foot forward when trying to find a cure for this aggressive disease.
What is being done?
St. Baldrick's Foundation, one of the top childhood cancer researchers, prides itself in "having the potential to impact every kid diagnosed with cancer,". When donating to St. Baldrick's, people have the ability to support multiple research studies that are being conducted around the world. This ripple effect is prominent in non-profit organizations and can affect millions of lives world-wide. Every year, St. Baldrick's hosts hundreds of "Shave for the Brave" events around the United States, to raise awareness and money for childhood cancer research.
What can be done?
Derick Palmer is a prominent name on the St. Baldrick's website and also around the city of Virgina, Beach. Derick the Defeater lost his two-year battle with Medulloblastoma at the age of eight. Since being diagnosed in 2013, Derick and his Defeater Nation has raised over $67,000 for childhood cancer research. According to the St. Baldrick's website, people describe the inspiration behind the fundraising as:
"As incredibly painful Derick’s loss to all of us was, we are all so incredibly blessed to have had him in our lives. He touched so many with his beautiful soul, his bravery, and his love. We have started this fund in honor of his memory and to continue his legacy. It is our goal to bring hope to children and their families by raising awareness and through funding childhood cancer research. Through helping others, Derick The Defeater’s light will forever live on."
To donate towards a childhood cancer research under Derick's name, visit the St. Baldrick's webpage and search "Derick the Defeater".
Wrapped in Strength hooded towel project began with one sewing machine, a few towels, funding from family and friends and a desire to share Derick's way of life to always push harder, live bigger, be stronger, and to comfort those in need.
"I made Derick two fun hooded bath towels a year before his cancer diagnosis. He loved to put the hood on, put his hands in the handles, and wrap himself in a cozy cocoon. After diagnosis at the age of 6, his bear and dinosaur towels became very special to him. My little homemade creation always put a smile to his face, but most importantly, it brought comfort, warmth, and familiarity to his heart. Here at the Wrapped in Strength Project we have vowed to continue Derick’s fight against cancer. Being a cancer fighting hero is very hard work, and we want children that are currently fighting to have the comfort of one of these special hooded towels, in hopes of bringing a smile to their faces and giving them courage to be brave." ~Derick the Defeater's Mama: Gina