Brain Tumor Patient Stories

For over a decade, the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center has delivered hope to thousands of brain tumor patients. Through leadership in the development of novel treatments, investment in technology that improves diagnosis and treatment, and exemplary clinical care and research, this center has established itself as one of the leading facilities in the country. This also includes increased research and clinical focus on defining imaging changes as well as the diagnosis and treatment of the side effects of the treatments themselves including radiation necrosis.

Seeing patients from around the world, this Center is recognized as one of the busiest in the country. In addition to offering patients advanced clinical treatment, the unique approach of the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center allows physicians and nurses from all specialties to collaborate on each case, providing customized care for each patient and outcomes that rank among the best in the world.

Our heroes

Abby's story


At an age when most young women are just finding their place in life, Abby Miller was fighting for hers. Five years ago, at age 25, Miller was having trouble sleeping and was reacting poorly to sleep-inducing medications. She was sent for a brain scan, where doctors found something unexpected - a growth unrelated to her sleep problems.

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Chris's story


Chris Gee was told he had an inoperable brain tumor. He found hope at the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center where he travels to for treatment.

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Danica's story


Danica Whitfield had been accepted to Michigan State University and was returning from a trip with her family. Then, something went terribly wrong. She had a seizure on the plane and after being rushed to the ER, doctors found something that would radically change her life. A brain tumor, an oligodendroglioma threatened her future college plans and her life.

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Karen's story


Karen Woelk of Mason, Ohio was treated for a malignant brain tumor at Henry Ford Hospital 19 years ago. At that time, she had been told by others that she had 9-12 months to live. What she hoped was to see her three-year-old daughter get married - which took place in September.

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Kim's story


It was a weekday morning in October 2001. Kim Zuchorra began experiencing "weird" symptoms such as vertigo and numbness in her left leg. As a busy mother of two, she did not have time to go to a doctor. So, she ignored these signs. But, her symptoms continued.

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Laeki's story


After waking from surgery to remove a benign brain tumor, Laeki Hester learned her tumor wasn't benign after all. It was cancer, but a plan was already being developed for her follow-up treatment. Laeki was soon asked if she would be interested in participating in a clinical trial for chemotherapy.

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Lisa's story


"I was about to go to church with my family and I started stuttering. Then, I blacked out. The next thing I knew I was in an ambulance." These were Lisa Starr's first symptoms of a brain tumor - one that took up nearly twenty-five percent of her brain.

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Mary's story

Driving home from a computer convention in Grand Rapids, she was hit by another car, and the accident resulted in significant neck and shoulder pain. But even after three months of physical therapy, she didn't see any relief. She also started having dizzy spells in the classroom, bad enough that she had to grab the desk to keep from falling.

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Mike's story


When I met Mike in 2001, he had already had brain surgery seven years prior, in 1994. His doctors discovered an Astrocytoma and successfully removed it. Since 1994, he has endured many seizures, often daily. It was difficult for him to work and function some days.

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Nestelynn's story


Nestelynn was in the prime of her life three years ago when she begin experiencing a headache that wouldn’t go away. She thought the headache was brought on by extreme stress at work, but decided to go the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital to be safe.

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Oliveriski's story


The day that my life changed forever started out like any other day. I felt great and like many of my friends and family suggested I had finally gave in and decided to have a physical done that day. I got checked over for everything possible and just like I had predicted I was healthy and according to the doctor even healthier than others in my age group.

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