Like many 3rd graders, Jamilyn enjoyed scouting and playing soccer. But then the 8-year-old began losing weight. Headaches, vomiting and back pain followed, along with stumbling and double vision.
Diagnosed with a malignant medulloblastoma, Jamilyn was treated with surgery, followed by six weeks of daily radiation. Chemotherapy was next. She also needed spinal taps, MRIs and a shunt to drain fluid off her brain and reduce the pressure in her head. She became so sick, she was unable to receive her last round of chemo.
Next came physical therapy to learn how to walk again. The long-term side effects of Jamilyn’s tumor and treatment include vision impairment, hearing loss and learning difficulties, as well as the need for thyroid medicine and growth hormone treatments.
Fast forward two years, and Jamilyn is now a typical fifth grader. She describes school as “tough,” but her studies don’t stop her from enjoying singing, songwriting and cooking. As with many girls her age, she also enjoys dressing up, fixing her hair and trying on makeup. And just ask her about riding on her uncle’s motorcycle to see her eyes light up!
According to Jamilyn’s mother, the trip to the hospital for check-ups every six months reminds the whole family of what they’ve gone through. Jamilyn is now eating well, gaining weight and should be growing this year to catch up to her peers. She and her family are active in a variety of fundraisers to help others.