HOW IT ALL STARTED: In July of 2010 Alison was diagnosed with a giant meningioma, basically a very large tumor (8 CM) on the frontal lobe of her brain. It all started 12 months prior with Alison suffering from dizziness, headaches and occasional blurred vision. After multiple doctor's visits telling her the symptoms were due to her hypothyroidism, finally her eye doctor discovered fluid on her optic nerves and sent her for a CT scan at Holy Cross Hospital. The CT scan revealed the baseball sized tumor! The following day, she was admitted to the ER at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. Five days later, Alison spent 14 hours in surgery and the tumor was successfully removed!! BUT.....
......WHAT HAPPENED NEXT, is what Alison has been suffering with for the past 5 1/2 years. When she was released from the hospital, Alison was able to see, but over the next 20-30 days her eyesight slowly declined and the mad scramble to save her vision began. Twenty eight days after the tumor was removed, she once again found herself in the ER. This time it was to find out why she was losing her eyesite. A battery of tests were performed and all showed nothing. So, she was sent to Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami where they performed an Optic Nerve Sheath Fenestration (basically, they cut a flap on her optic nerve to let the excess optic nerve fluid flow out harmlessly to the back of her eye). A 2nd Fenestration was performed on her right eye 4 days later. After the flood waters receded, the doctors saw the damage to the optic nerves. The damage left her legally blind in both eyes. The journey was not over. She spent the next 6 months in and out of hospitals, in an attempt to stop the loss, but her vision slowly declined to a non-existent level in her left eye and a slight right-side peripheral in her right eye, which is now almost gone.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY: In mid March, Channel 7 News aired a story about a local doctor in Margate that is currently experimenting with stem cells harvested from a blind person's bone marrow and injected into their optic nerves. The hope is that the stem cells will regenerate as healthy optic nerves and help the patient regain their sight. Dr. Weiss has been successful in treating patients and feels that Alison is a good candidate for the precedure and we are all confident that she will have a positive outcome.
Many of you reading this know Alison and know that she is one of the most genuine, caring and selfless people that you've ever met. She doesn't have a single bad bone in her entire body!! Her children were 15, 10 and 5 the last time she saw their faces. She longs to see them again. Tim, eh....not so much, but her kids, yes! LOL
Even through all of this, those who know Alison, Tim, Brandon, Emma and Molly know that, with the support of God, their friends and family, they have handled this adversity with strength, dignity, courage and a WHOLE lot of laughter.
Unfortunately, insurance does not cover this procedure. Any amount will help....no amount is too small. If you cannot donate, your prayers for a successful outcome are appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your support, donations and prayers.
Christine Calcanes and Aimee Saroff Hooper for the Miliantas
As is said in Psalm 146:8 - The LORD opens the eyes of the blind; The LORD raises up those who are bowed down; The LORD loves the righteous....
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