I recently came across the story of Brianna Sharp, a young girl involved in swimming and Irish dance who was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor called “diffuse intrinsic pontine brain stem glioma.”
The brain stem consists of the midbrain, pons and medulla located deep in the posterior part of the brain. Tumors that arise along these structures are called brain stem gliomas. Most brain stem gliomas occur in the pons (“pontine gliomas”). The pontine tumors have a poorer prognosis than the less common midbrain and medullary gliomas. Brianna’s tumor is in the “pons” area of the brain. Pontine Gliomas often improve dramatically during or after six weeks of irradiation. Unfortunately, problems usually recur after six to nine months, and progress rapidly. Survival past 12 to 14 months is uncommon, and new approaches to treating these tumors are urgently needed.
Brianna is the oldest daughter of Matthew and Jennifer Sharp… One of five siblings as is expected to be treated with “Proton Radiation Therapy.”
This brave girl says she is not in pain which is great news but does little to dampen the sadness and sympathy you feel when reading an article about her.
If you want to learn more, you can visit the Help Brianna Sharp site dedicated to her life. I am about to donate to her cause myself and thought my readers might be interested in doing the same.
Here are some photos of Brianna. I have also taken some comments made by Brianna and shared them below.
I have never met this girl and learned about her situation initially through colleagues and friends in the industry.
Hi, my name is Brianna Sharp, but my friends and family call me Bree. I am 12 years old and in 7th grade. A while back, I started having really bad headaches and on October 5, 2008, the doctors told me and my family that I have a tumor in my brain. They call it a diffuse pontine brainstem glioma. There’s a page on my website where you can go read about it. I don’t like to think about it or talk about it much. I just want the doctors to take care of it so I can go back to my normal life in Chicago. I need your help too. If you click on one of the links below you can learn about me and this tumor and what you can do to help me and my family.