Brooke is a 12-year-old musical genius who loves swimming, summer, her black lab, Boone, playing guitar, ukulele, and piano, and singing and writing songs. She takes voice lessons and participates in musicals and choir. This spring she won her school talent show singing "Ocean Eyes" by her favorite musician, Billie Eilish, who she recently saw in concert which she said was "the best night ever!"
This spring she was diagnosed with a tumor in her head pressing up against the optic nerve of her right eye causing headaches, vision issues, a bulging eyeball, and restricted movement of her right eye. She lovingly calls her right eye her "creepy, bulgy eye."
After several appointments and medical imaging procedures it was determined the tumor needed to be removed for both testing to ensure it is benign and to restore functionality to the eye and hopefully bring it back to it's normal position within the eye cavity. After surgery on 6/26/19 at Children's Hospital she had some complications because the tumor was larger than normal which resulted in some titanium plates in her head where the tumor had to come out and an extra night stay in the hospital. She has had some additional appointments for eye re-alignment surgery and to monitor healing.
Most recently her latest MRI shows the tumor was not entirely removed as originally though and has some “tendrils” left deep behind her optic nerve into the back of the orbital socket. It is too dangerous to try and get to this area due to the risk of vision impairment. Her surgeon feels it’s the best option to send her to the Mayo Clinic to undergo radiation to hopefully eliminate the remaining tumor.
Brooke's mom, Kristen, was widowed when Brooke was just a baby after her healthy husband died of a heart attack in his sleep at age 30. She has managed single-parenthood like a champ but it is always a rollercoaster with a single income. She is also self-employed which means she is self-insured so in addition to her spendy monthly insurance premium all medical expenses are out-of-pocket until her very high-deductible is met when it will move to 80/20 coverage. The bills have caused major strain to say the least. Kristen works as a speaker and author who helps people to be resilient and keep going even when life gets hard. Obviously she knows quite a bit about the topic - and this challenge with Brooke is no exception.
Money stress is a reality for most people at some point and Kristen often helps them with that. Now let's help her and Brooke out with even a little bit of money love - she'd be so appreciative and forever humbled. Every little bit will help. THANK YOU GIFT!!!!
For every donation made Brooke wants to say a huge thanks and give you a digital copy of her forthcoming music album, Hues of Blue. You will get a link to download it emailed to you at the email you use for your donation later this fall when it is released. You can hear some of Brooke's music and personality on her Instagram page here
and see a music video of a song she wrote about her late dad below or on her mom's Facebook page here