Help Britt, 19, fight rare cancer

My name is Tiana but this story isn't about me. It's about my baby sister, Brittany, who turned 19 in February. Anyone who has met Brittany knows what a beautiful, happy, kind-hearted & fun-loving person she is. She lights up any room she enters... and she has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Brittany's world has been turned upside-down in the matter of a few short weeks. She had just moved down to Melbourne (from Darwin) to start her first year of a double bachelor degree in Arts and Business. Brittany had been complaining of persistent back pain for the better part of a year and had finally been convinced to go to a doctor to get it checked out. She went in for an MRI, expecting a pinched nerve or a slipped disc.... never in a million years could any of us expected the results. A tumor pushing on one of the nerves in her spine. This was such a shock. She is only 19.

At this stage she was told by the neurosurgeon that it was 90% likely that the tumor was NOT cancerous. She would still need to undergo a complicated surgery to remove it and fuse two of the vertebra in her spine. She would then be looking at 6 weeks of intense physiotherapy to be able to walk again. However, whilst on the surgeon's table the horrific reality of Brittany's tumor was becoming apparent. A few gut-wrenching days later, the devastating results were back, the tumor is Ewing Sarcoma.

Ewing Sarcoma is a very rare cancerous tumor that generally affects young people (aged 10-20). Brittany's tumor is wrapped around a nerve in her spine and requires aggressive chemotherapy for a long period of time. She is currently facing 10 long months consisting of 5 day long chemotherapy cycles every 3 weeks. If she starts treatment as soon as she has recovered from her spinal surgery then there is hope she will have finished her chemotherapy by her 20th birthday. To say our family has a long, hard road ahead is the biggest understatement I can muster. Brittany is about to start the fight of her life and she is going to need all the support she can get.

My heart is breaking right now for my baby sister, who has a heart of gold and is still concerned with the welfare of everyone around her.Anything you could spare to help cover expenses involved in Brittany's brave fight would be greatly appreciated. It will allow her family to more easily support her in Melbourne, fund her medical costs and create opportunities for Brittany to be successful in beating this cancer.


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