When I was young I dreamed of being a professional tennis player and maybe even make it to the Olympics as my father had done in swimming. My athletic abilities helped me pursue my dreams but I was also motivated in reaching new heights by my respect and admiration of my grandfather. I lived a "perfect" life living in Europe....
Like many people my age I thought I was invincible but I was soon going to find out the truth that life is frail!
When my grandfather died I was 10, struck with tremendous grief I started to experience powerful headaches.
Many doctors believe that a strong emotional shock can trigger the growth of unhealthy cells and that is what seemed to happen. But why were the doctors constantly overlooking my symptoms and not diagnosing me...
I continued my life with those headaches but one morning my pain reached new heights and it scared my father! I woke up to complain about my headaches and I could not utter a coherent word... just strident and monosyllabic sounds.
Always nothing abnormal according to my doctors in Switzerland, so the family move to France could go ahead as planned but it was almost the last move of my life... I started to literally die and an eye doctor raised the red flag at the last minute in the resort area of St. Tropez out of all places known for medicine!
I was kept in the dark and it probably was a good move since it kept my spirits up facing the low odds of success in the surgery. I was diagnosed to have a benign tumor in the IV ventricule which controls all motor skills and therefore I had a slight survival chance of 30% instead of none had it been malignant . The tumor was missed for a long time and had the size of a big orange crushing my brain, the surgery would last no less than 9 hours. It was at the time, now 21 years ago a brand new and revolutionary technique but very tricky and I was to be a "guinea pig" for the advance of brain tumor surgery!
When I came out I was unrecognizable and did not know why God had spared me, I was in a wheelchair and had no balance, I had double vision and a condition where my eyes moved with my head. I was crossed eyed as well, I could not write and could only speak in slow monosyllabic strident sounds!
How horrible was it to still have all your memory and intelligence and be like this... After a month of ordeal I was cleared to go back home. Although I did not see the purpose of fighting, a traumatic and inspirational turning point came when my parents placed me in a rehabilitation center where I saw first hand the "real" suffering of young kids... from then on I fought with all I had regardless if I would succeed or not. God was very important and still is, I prayed and meditated a lot then, eventually trying to resume my life as best I could by being a good person. Today I have been blessed to have been able to face adversity and overcome many obstacles the doctors thought back then would be impossible! I still have double vision, my eyes still move and I still have balance problems but I will keep on facing my destiny doing the best with what God gave me. Today I am 34 and amid my limitations have written a book of my life in the hope of helping others face adversity!
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