Michael was diagnosed with a brain tumor called fibrillary astrocytoma, grade II at the age of 8, when he had begun to show significant symptoms; he had lost the use of his right arm and was dragging his right foot. Michael’s parents had been given little hope until they were referred to Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida.
During their first visit to Shands, UF physicians immediately scheduled a biopsy to determine the type of tumor and grade. The tumor was inoperable, but specialists found that radiation treatments had been successful in other cases. Michael completed six weeks of radiation treatments. The treatment course was quite a journey for the family; Michael required care 24/7. Given his age and the location of the tumor, the side effects of the tumor and radiation were difficult to manage, but Michael and his family fought a valiant fight.
Today, Michael is a thriving young boy. He returns to Shands every six months for an MRI. This past year he returned to school and has just passed the FCAT on grade level. He rides his bike and likes to play baseball and football. He is also learning to play the guitar.