Tag Archives: brain cancer

Brave Flushing girl, 7, fights brain cancer

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Danielle Chase

Danielle Chase was taking photos at a baby shower in early August when she noticed that when she asked her 7-year-old daughter Izabella to smile, only one half of her mouth was moving.

“Izzy, why aren’t you smiling?” Chase recalls asking her daughter over and over again before the little girl told her, “I am, Mom.”

That, combined with a bunch of recent stumbles and unusual clumsiness, prompted the Flushing mom to take the second-grader to the hospital .

“Never in a million years did I think they were going to tell me she had brain cancer,” Chase said about the heartbreaking moment when doctors at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center discovered a Grade 1 cancerous tumor.  “Everything moved really fast after that.”

On Aug. 3, just two days after taking Izabella to the hospital, the doctors attempted to remove the tumor. Sadly, they couldn’t get all of it. A piece was left too deep in the brain for surgeons to reach without risking brain damage, her mom said.

Instead, Izabella needs a scan every two months to monitor the tumor, which they fear will continue to grow and require treatment. She also has a shunt in her brain that releases spinal fluid into her stomach, and she has to deal with the loss of sight from the surgery.

“I felt like I was ice skating on one foot,” Izabella said, describing the clumsy sensation she felt before the surgery. “But now I feel like I’m ice skating on two feet and I’m slipping everywhere.”

Chase, a single mother who had to quit her job to take care of Izabella, is overwhelmed with medical bills and the family has an online fund for donations. Chase will hold a charity event at Tequila Sunrise on Nov. 16 to raise money for Izabella’s medical bills.

“If I ask people for anything, I ask them for prayers first before money,” Chase said.

Izabella had to be taken out of her school, Sacred Heart Elementary School in Bayside, because of her severely reduced vision. She will be starting home schooling soon and Sacred Heart’s administrators have been very supportive, according to Chase.

Izabella says she wants to be a surgeon when she grows up and help little kids like herself. Every once in a while she thinks back to early August.

“And she tells me, ‘Mommy, remember that brain ball they took out of me. I’m going to take it and send it straight to hell,’” Chase said.


Walk to raise funds for Flushing toddler’s chemo

| mchan@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Kimberly Scott

Kimberly Scott’s life changed in March, when doctors discovered a lemon sized tumor in her toddler’s brain.

“They said in a week, he would have died if he didn’t have the surgery,” she said.

Her 3-year-old son Alex now faces at least six months of aggressive chemotherapy after the cancerous brain tumor was removed.

Hundreds in the community will come together at Kissena Park Lake to “Walk for Alex” on June 8.

They will raise money to help pay for some of Alex’s medical expenses as the Flushing family tries to bring order back into their lives.

The walk begins at 10 a.m. this Saturday, with registration opening an hour in advance.

“It’s amazing how the community steps up,” said Kimberly Scott, 29. “I haven’t been able to work at all and my husband works intermittently. This helps us out fantastically until we get back on a good work schedule.”

The Scotts, who have two young sons, were billed $49,000 for the surgery alone. They do not know how much of that will be covered by insurance. They are also facing fees for hospital stays and chemo.

“How our life was before is how we want to keep it now,” said Scott, a medical assistant. “I don’t want to have to sell my son’s Wii so I can pay the Con Edison bill.”

The mother of one of Alex’s classmates organized the walk, which has also received support from the Knights of Columbus, the International Nursery School and a number of charities. The groups hope to raise at least $5,000.

“I called her crying and thanked her so much,” Scott said.

While Alex suffers painful mouth and stomach sores, his mother said he has shown great perseverance.

“He should be having problems with speech, and he doesn’t,” Scott said. “He should be having weakness, but he doesn’t. He’s defying all the laws of cancer.”

Alex also has a huge post-surgery scar on his head, but does not have to worry about it so much since his father got an identical tattoo on his head.

“To me, that was the sweetest thing a father could do,” Kimberly Scott said. “Alex didn’t like everyone looking at him. He’s never going to be the only person with this thing on his head. Daddy will always have one too.”



Former Met Gary Carter succumbs to brain cancer

| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of the New York Mets

Forever known as “the Kid,” former Mets catcher Gary Carter died at 4:10 p.m. on February 16 after battling brain cancer. He was 57.

A key cog on the Mets’ 1986 championship team, the man best known for his leadership and clutch hitting was diagnosed with the disease after doctors discovered inoperable tumors on his brain in May 2011. After an MRI revealed new tumors in January 2012, his condition worsened.

The entire Mets organization expressed their condolences to Carter’s family and said that they are grieving along with his fans and former teammates.

“On behalf of everyone at the Mets, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Gary’s family – his wife Sandy, daughters Christy and Kimmy and son D.J.,” Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon, president Saul Katz and COO Jeff Wilpon said in a joint statement. “His nickname ‘the Kid’ captured how Gary approached life. He did everything with enthusiasm and with gusto on and off the field. His smile was infectious. He guided our young pitching staff to the World Series title in 1986 and he devoted an equal amount of time and energy raising awareness for a multitude of charities and community causes. He was a Hall of Famer in everything he did.”