Cheryl began having difficulty reading her school books when she was 11. Following many medical exams, she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor that was responsible for her decreasing sight. Surgery removed the tumor, but Cheryl was left with significant permanent vision loss. A second surgery and radiation treatments forced her to miss a year of school.
“I had to relearn how to do everything and give up some activities forever,” says Cheryl. One thing she did not have to give up was riding with her dad on his motorcycle. Nor has the family missed a Ride for Kids® event in their area since Cheryl’s diagnosis.
In high school, Cheryl did not let her blindness keep her from participating in the swim team or marching band. She graduated after attending the prom, and is now off to college, some distance from home. Her goal includes a law degree, but for now attending college “is a way to prove to others I can succeed and be independent despite being blind,” says the PBTF scholarship recipient.
Cheryl’s message to others with a brain tumor is both honest and hopeful. “Having a brain tumor makes things harder, but does [not]make [me] different or weird.” She lives life by the theme “never give up.”