It was a proud moment in January of 2001 when
Jodie graduated from computer school as class valedictorian and was selected
to give the speech. A year earlier she had been so crippled by indescribable
headache pain that she had to be hospitalized for five days to try to
find a treatment regimen that would allow her to live her life. It has
been a long road to where she is now and she tells us her story so that
someone else "will see the light at the end of the tunnel."
Phyllis met her husband at the age of 22 and
was married four months later. It is apparent that although he died 23
years ago, she still feels the loss profoundly today. She was only 38
years old when he died of primary brain cancer, and she was left alone
to raise their two children, June and Paul, then 14 and 12 years old.
Somehow between teaching school and tutoring, she not only supported them
but saw that they got through college...
Loyalty to family, friends and place are strong threads woven through Victor Mankoskiís life. He lives close to where he grew up, has been married for 34 years to a woman he has known since kindergarten and maintains friendships that go back even further. Victor and his wife Linda were in the same high school class, had many of the same friends and will soon attend their 45th year HS reunion together....
It's incredible to think that this accomplished
man has navigated the roadblocks he has to get where he is today. Anyone
would be proud to be a CPCU and Vice President at a major insurance company
at the age of 45, with a lovely wife and two fine sons. To have gotten
there despite incredible barriers is a testament to the human spirit and
to the will to carry on and seize opportunity where others would find
only defeat. This is Bob's story.
Harry Springfield was diagnosed with an Acoustic
Neuroma in March, 2000. He was fortunate to have been diagnosed fairly
early once he started having symptoms in his left ear. His primary physician,
after listening to Harry describe his loss of hearing, immediately suggested
an MRI to rule out a tumor. However, as Harry was surprised to learn,
the problem was a tumor an acoustic neuroma, approximately 2.5 cm
It was the night before she was to enter the
hospital for brain surgery, in early 1993. She was alone and frightened.
Her mother had just died unexpectedly and she did not want to burden her
four grown children with her fears. She remembered a letter she’d
read in an ANA/USA newsletter and picked up the phone. The voice at the
other end was an AN surgery survivor in Chicago, and to this day Wilma
doesn’t know who she was, but this stranger gave her the hope and
courage to carry on.
Karyn grew up in New Jersey but moved south,
first to Florida, then on to Texas, to pursue her education. From High
School on, she was plagued with headaches, visiting numerous doctors with
varying diagnoses, tests and treatments. She even had two CT scans in
those early years, both of which were negative. Despite the pain, Karyn
went on to pursue a nursing degree specializing in respiratory therapy,
at Texas Medical Center.
When Phil Stern speaks of his family, his
love for and appreciation of them is palpable. He is profoundly grateful
for the love, patience and support he has always received from them. He
says that if there is a silver lining in all that he has gone through
since his diagnosis with a 2 cm acoustic neuroma, it is that it was the
catalyst for him to start his own law practice. This has given him the
freedom to make his family his priority.
Nancy wants to use her medical expertise to open doors for others to follow her through. Her knowledge of the medical insurance industry and terminology has allowed her to push the coverage envelope, getting full coverage for her BAHA surgery and instrument. The road to that place was a difficult one but Nancy has barely allowed it to slow her down although she acknowledges a change of priorities.
Kathy canít wait to turn on her cochlear implant when she wakes up in the morning. Attaching the speech processor portion to the implant opens up the world to her. Until that time she is in a silent world devoid of the sounds others take for granted like the birds chirping, rain on the roof, or even the sound of her alarm clock. In a few short years her world has changed in mysterious and sometimes frightening ways. It has been a challenging journey requiring her to redefine her priorities.