Christal's Story

Christal Herman has an inoperable brain tumor known as an “Optic Pathways Glioma” that she’s carried with her since she was two years old.  At age six they determined she would lose her vision completely by age 16, and at age 11 her peripheral and color vision began to deteriorate. With the deterioration of her vision, Christal had to give up many of the things she loved, including dance and competitive cheerleading.

With the sudden increase in growth of the tumour they closely monitored Christal’s glioma growth over the course of a year and found it was not only affecting her vision but was pressing against her pituitary gland and two of the major arteries to the brain, without proper treatment, it could cause Christal to have a stroke and take her life. In September of 2016, unable to biopsy and find out for sure if Christal’s glioma was cancerous or not, they made the decision to begin chemotherapy.

November 10th 2016, just one day after her 12th birthday, Christal had her first round of chemotherapy. Little did the doctors know that on her eighth round of chemo Christal would have the first of many allergic reactions to her treatments. This continued to happen three more times throughout her therapy, she’d be fine for the first six or seven rounds with a new form of chemo and then her body would reject it. If her body wasn’t rejecting treatment, she was nauseous to the point of getting sick and dropping more and more weight, so much that she required an NG tube, which she and her family nicknamed her “nose hose”, in order to get her body enough nutrients to be able to withstand treatment. The only silver lining being that Christal’s glioma was shrinking, and with that, they pronounced it cancerous.

Living more at the hospital then at home became a brutal routine for both Christal and her family. Her body was extremely weak. Her liver, kidneys and ovaries showed stress and in February of 2018 they decided that her overall health was being compromised too much by the chemotherapy and put her treatment on hold.

In the meantime, Christal and her family wait and watch. They see Christal get stronger and her hair grow, but with the growth of her health so does her tumour. Christal’s treatment doesn’t have an end date. She will never not have her Glioma; she’ll only ever get the slight relief of the chemotherapy shrinking it down to a manageable size, delaying the inevitable.

Throughout all of this, Christal’s family didn’t ask for help, they leaned on each other for support and never thought they would need anything more. But with the extra expenses of having a child with cancer they’ve become swamped in the stress of bills. This Family, who is active and loved throughout the community for their kindness and generosity, need some in return. We have decided to set up a Go Fund Me account for Christal and her family. The money donated will be used at the family’s discretion, some of the money donated may go towards helping Christal get the best possible care both in the hospital and at home, gas money to and from the hospital and any other appointments, offset the extra costs that have come up in their upcoming trip to Disneyland California for Christal’s Make A Wish, and making Christal’s overall quality of life as good as possible. Although her Glioma isn’t going anywhere and her vision will eventually fail her, until that happens we want to ensure her life is filled to the brim with enough experiences and sights to last her a lifetime.
  • Rob Reichelt 
    • $100 
    • 24 mos
  • Claudia Cravino 
    • $50 
    • 32 mos
  • Rhoda Strelau 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Richelle Gonzales 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Wendy McNeil 
    • $50 
    • 35 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Sandra Comeau MacDonald 
Organizer
Richmond, BC
Tammy Herman 
Beneficiary
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