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.

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.

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Gill's Story

brain tumor patient GillGill Doyle was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (GBM). He chose the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center for his brain surgery and subsequent treatment. In addition to radiation and chemotherapy, Gill is being treated with the FDA-approved Tumor Treating Fields, known as Optune®.

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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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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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Sasha and Danielle's story

brain tumor patient sasha and danielle

Most glioblastomas occur in men over the age of 60, so when 20-year-old Danielle Gillespie discovered she had one, she and her doctors were surprised. Even more surprising? Just six weeks earlier, 28-year-old Sasha Archer had come to Henry Ford with a glioblastoma too.

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Tiffany's story

brain tumor patient tiffany crowe

Tiffany Crowe came to the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center after her brain tumor came back. Our surgeon used a new approach which allowed him to target the tumor using MRI — without harming healthy cells and affecting her motor skills.

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Head to the Hill Advocacy Day

Washington DC Blog

Five patients from the Henry Ford Hermelin Brain Tumor Center and Dr. James Snyder, neurology specialist, met in Washington, D.C., as part of the annual Head to the Hill advocacy day to persuade elected officials to delegate more funding to brain cancer research.

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