As many of you know, In February of last year, Avalon was diagnosed with an incurable cancerous brain tumor. This tumor was discovered after Avalon began to have seizures. The doctors believe she had it for approximately five years due to the size of the tumor. When I see this video from Guest Room Sessions, It breaks my heart to think she probably had it then. This video was recorded right after she was on American Idol in 2016.
In 2021, she underwent three brain surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, and a trial drug CB839. The doctors removed 98% of the peach-sized tumor from her left front temporal lobe. The remaining cancer cannot be removed without taking healthy brain tissue. The radiation, chemo and trial drug reduced the cancerous tumor, leaving a slight amount attached to the brain.
This year, her cancer treatment consists of monthly chemotherapy in pill form. This monthly treatment will continue through January 2023. Avalon has been tolerating this reasonably well, with minimal side effects, including nausea, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
The goal is to continue shrinking the tumor and preventing cancer from growing and spreading to other parts of the brain. Avalon will require an MRI every three months to monitor this tumor for the rest of her life.
Avalon was without insurance at the time of the surgeries last year, as she was dropped from my health insurance when she turned 26. During the past 18 months, we were grateful to pay her doctors with money raised from her first fundraiser. We were able to negotiate the balance of the $2.2 million medical bill.
This year we are working with State Disability to provide for living expenses while she is undergoing treatment.
We appreciate your continued love, prayers and support for Avalon. Today she turns 28 years old and told me how grateful she is to be alive and she no longer takes anything for granted.
I have learned much about Avalon during this horrific diagnosis, life-threatening surgeries, debilitating treatments, and I am amazed at her strength, courage and determination.