30-Year Old Experimental Patient Survivor--Eager to Answer ?s, Offer Support


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07-01-09 08:54 PM
30-Year Old Experimental Patient Survivor--Eager to Answer ?s, Offer Support

My name is Mariah and I am a 30-year-old neuroblastoma survivor.  At the age of 1, I was diagnosed, and I had a tumor wrapped around my spine and aorta.  At the time, there was nothing that could be done for me, so my parents agreed to let me be an experimental patient at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.  The cancer was cured after many years of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries!!!  Even though I am cured, I have had a lifetime of secondary medical effects from the treatments.  I have had a wide array of issues that have popped up, and I continue to battle them.  Currently, I am disabled because of back issues (because of the location of the tumor, I had scoliosis, which led to back braces and multiple surgeries) and chronic pain, as well as some other issues.  Although I do have these other issues, I am very thankful to be alive!  I did go to college and graduate schools - I have a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in business administration.   I did, however, study biology and chemistry for a few years, so coupled with my 29 years of medical experience, I can maybe offer some layperson help with any medical issues that you might have.  Since I am unable to work, I would LOVE to be able to help any of you with trying to understand medical questions...I also am a very good listener (my friends all come to me for help and advice) and would love to hear your stories, as well as offer some support...And, I would love to be able to offer you hope that things can work out and this cancer can be cured!!