Truly Inspiring: Kelby’s Story

My name is Kelby.  At the age of six, in 1979, my body was struck by cancer.  I was diagnosed with medulloblastoma – a brain cancer.  I was given a 2% chance to live.  Doctors said if I lived through surgery I might come out as a little baby having to relearn everything again.   

I was blind after surgery and then had double-vision and finally my vision became normal.  I had a shunt inserted before this surgery to relieve fluid from my brain.  I still have the shunt today. 

There were many setbacks.  I had asthma attacks in the hospital as well as several allergic reactions – it seemed that all the side effects the doctor listed, I got plus more.  At that time, Egleston was not what it is now and the only way to get a private room was to be in isolation – I spent Easter in isolation.  I later had radiation and chemo after 60% of the tumor was removed by the surgeons.  I lost my hair, but later found that hair was a small price to pay for life.

I am blessed to share that my life is a miracle – luck played no part in my living.  Many people see miracles as things that only happened in the Bible, but I am alive today as living proof of a miracle.

After all I have gone through, I have learned much from my experiences.  I am short due to radiation depleting my growth hormones.  Radiation has also led to rheumatoid arthritis.  The arthritis is believed to be the cause of my nearsightedness.  And I am deaf in my left ear with a high-deficiency-loss in the other.  However, I have seen others with much worse conditions than I, losing limbs and body uses.  I am thankful for the things I can do and try not to linger on the things I have lost or cannot do.  I thank God daily that I am alive and I can share my story with others. 


About The Brain Tumor Foundation for Children

Founded in 1983, BTFC was the first nonprofit in the U.S. to focus on brain cancer in children. Our mission is to support patients and their families.
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