Fifteen year old Hailey will travel with her parents from their home state of Hawaii to Texas for life changing surgery to remove a large brain tumor on October 11, 2019. For the past year and a half, some of the symptoms that Hailey has experienced include severe head and body pain, chronic insomnia, falling randomly, fainting, involuntary body tremors, difficulty breathing, cognitive issues, loss of vision and hearing, vertigo, constant nausea, excessive weight loss, depression, and panic attacks. Her suffering has been so extreme that by February 2019, she had to complete her freshman year of high school from home.
After months of appointments with doctors on the Hawaiian islands and later at UCLA, test after test, several incorrect diagnoses, and running into constant roadblocks with doctors that told her parents that "it's just stress; nothing is wrong with your daughter", the MRI scan that her mother had been begging for finally revealed the tumor directly in the center of her brain. Worldwide, only a few neurosurgeons are skilled enough to perform the operation to remove the pineal gland and tumor. We are fortunate that Dr. Kim in Houston has agreed to perform Hailey's upcoming surgery. The emotional, physical, and financial impact that the family faces is enormous and urgent. Our sweet "Hay" is a daughter, sister to her 17 year old brother, granddaughter, and an amazing friend to those who know her. She is an upbeat, silly, smiling, supportive, positive girl we are all lucky to have in our lives. She hides her pain from others and is a true warrior.
The Higgins family are no strangers to medical challenges. Hailey's mother became increasingly ill three years ago and was eventually diagnosed with Lupus and AS. Hailey acted as her mom's caretaker much of those first two years of her mom's illness. The empathy and love Hailey provided pulled her mother through many hard times. Throughout the suffering, her mother always tells people, "I'm okay. It could always be worse. I am thankful that at least it's me that is ill and not one of my children going through this challenge." As you can imagine, Hailey's current situation is frightening for her and her family.
Donations, prayers and kind thoughts are much appreciated by the Higgins family through this difficult time. All money raised will go to the cost of surgery, including the several weeks that they must stay in Houston for initial recovery and travel costs. Due to Hailey's mother no longer being able to contribute to her family financially, their home has been placed up for sale in an effort to pay surmounting medical bills.
$5 TRULY makes a difference and shows your love and support. Funds will help pay for medical devices, airline tickets, lodging and meals during recovery. Airline miles are incredibly welcome! A huge mahalo (thank you) and ALOHA for any help you can provide the Higgins family. We will post updates throughout Hailey’s journey to recovery.
Please share with others to raise awareness regarding the possible symptoms and surgical treatment of pineal gland cysts/tumors. You must advocate for your health - please don't give up when doctors turn you away. Keep searching for the help you and your loved ones need and deserve.