In early June 2009, Allison began feeling weakness in her fingers and left hand, and her penmanship became sloppy. As a nurse, she knew something was wrong. "Perhaps it is carpel tunnel or a stroke," she told her family physician - "or maybe a brain tumor!" The doctor immediately ordered an MRI. On July 23, 2009, Allison was diagnosed with a grade 3 anaplastic astrocytoma brain tumor and had a craniotomy on her right frontal lobe. The surgeon removed all but 5 mm of the tumor. Immediately after surgery, Allison could not walk due to weakness in her left leg and lost the use of her left hand. After ten days of physical therapy, she learned to walk again, but never regained the use of her left hand. Although life got tougher, Allison never gave up hope.
After six weeks of daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments, followed by eight weeks of a clinical trial twice a week, and two rounds of 5 day treatments of high dose chemo (the first round during Thanksgiving week and the next round during Christmas week!); on April 24, 2010, Allison completed six months of chemotherapy. So far Allison's bi-monthly MRI results have been good, and she continues to have no visible sign of a brain tumor. Though most of her brain tumor has been removed, Allison is not cured of brain cancer, and has never fully recovered the dexterity in her left hand. Allison is positive, strong, and determined to fight brain cancer and win! Allison is mother of three handsome boys – Jack (13), Cal (12) and Andrew (11), and a former Nurse Anesthetist. Together, with the love, care, and support of her life partner, Angel and Allison are on a mission to FIND A CURE FOR BRAIN TUMORS!
In 2009 Allison and Angel joined the Race for HOPE in Philadelphia. Allison is team captain for Allison’s NumbSkulls - the third largest team with 180 members, and raised nearly $35,000! WAY TO GO TEAM! Angel and Allison continue to support the NBTS as volunteers on the race committee. Allison hold the position of "New Team Captain Mentor" - helping new team captains with frequently asked questions, fundraising tips, and general information about the race. Angel supports the fundraising efforts. Angel and Allison are proud to support brain cancer research and the National Brain Tumor Society’s Race for Hope, Philadelphia.