In July 2001 Missy aged six was diagnosed with her first brain tumour, called a juvenile pilocystic astrocytoma.
Even though this is a benign tumour, due to its large size and proximity to the brain stem it was life threatening and was operated on urgently in the next 24 hours.
The aim of the neurosurgery was to remove as much of the tumour as possible without damaging the surrounding brain tissue. It was not possible due to swelling to confirm all the tumour was removed and further treatment and surgery was a possibility.
Her second brain tumour was diagnosed in March 2003 when Missy was eight. This was thought to be the residue of the original tumour, regrown. However swelling was not marked and complete removal was possible.
Missy now nine is undergoing continued monitoring for possible regrowth.
Missy is enjoying school and looking forward to lots more mischief and adventures in her life. Missy is an amazing survivor, owing her life to neurosurgery.
The Cancer Council of Australia estimates there are 400 new brain cancers diagnosed in Australia a year. Out of those 400 patients 25 will be children under 15 years. Brain tumours are the second most common cancer in children after leukaemia.