Brain Cancer: Fate Haunts a Family

A young woman from Quebec, just weeks before her 20th birthday, must begin her life’s fight against an inoperable brain tumor while her grandmother is taken by the same disease, which may be partly hereditary.

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“The sons touched each other when they learned that my daughter was going to be transferred to the same bed as my mother at the Hospital de l’Enfant-Jesus a few days ago. I can’t believe this is happening to us,” Ann Harvey said emotionally.

Marianne Genois' hospital bed is occupied by her grandmother.

Courtesy image

Marianne Genois’ hospital bed is occupied by her grandmother.

For weeks, his 19-year-old daughter, Marianne Genois, had severe headaches, which her relatives attributed to migraines. But by mid-July, the pain was so severe that she had to go to the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus to receive adequate treatment.

It was then that he was diagnosed with diffuse midline glioma. It is an advanced and inoperable brain cancer because of where it is.

“The sky fell on our heads, like an accumulation of bad news. Burying your parents is one thing, but burying your children is another,” gasps the mother of the family.

A genetic spread?

Louis Gautrault is celebrating his last birthday.  She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with a similar incurable cancer.

Courtesy image

Louis Gautrault is celebrating his last birthday. She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with a similar incurable cancer.

A few months ago, Marianne Genois’ grandmother learned that she had suffered from a similar brain tumor. Louise Gautrault finally passed away on July 24 at the age of 72, a week after her granddaughter’s diagnosis was announced.

“He was still treated for at least a year and a half. We like to think that she left earlier to take care of Marion,” says Mme Harvey was surrounded by flowers that had been used at her mother’s funeral the previous day.

Doctors believe that genetics may play a role in how the disease runs in families. One of their relatives recently received a similar diagnosis.

Given the situation, Anne Harvey, who has suffered from migraines for years, should receive the results of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within a few days to check if she has inherited this “gene”.

A head full of plans

In the meantime, her daughter is undergoing multiple chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments aimed at slowing the growth of the tumor, though never curing the 19-year-old.

Despite the situation, she refuses to feel sorry for herself and says she enjoys life surrounded by the people she loves. His relatives also refused to know the prognosis established by the doctors.

“I’m trying to be the same Mariana that I was before, but I live day by day. I have no choice,” suggests the main interested party.

A fashion lover, she wants to use her last moments to start her own clothing company for exceptional people or travel to haute couture cities around the world.

A fundraising campaign started by a friend of the family will help her achieve her dreams. It would also relieve the financial pressure on her mother, who had to close her daycare center to take care of her and her own mother for a few months.

Diffuse midline glioma

  • Also known as invasive brainstem glioma
  • An invasive brain tumor that starts in the brainstem
  • There is no cure
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment from a palliative perspective
  • Median survival was 11 months

Source: Merck Manuals and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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