In 2003 Samantha was diagnosed with an unknown mass in her pituitary gland after it burst, causing meningitis and hydrocephalus. She had a craniotomy in 2004 and the tumor was shown to be a Rathke's Cleft Cyst. She has had 40 surgeries since then, mostly shunt revisions. She is now 20 years old and suffers many side affects from the tumor, the surgeries and the hormone deficiencies. Even though her tumor was "benign", there really is no such thing in the brain. Anything that doesn't belong there is going to cause damage. And in her case, the damage has been life altering. She is now disabled and we are attempting to get her approved for social security since she is now a young adult. She is an amazing writer, poet and loves Harry Potter. She's becoming quite the actress and starred in a play about Harry Potter's father's early life, playing Harry Potter's son Albus.
I am the very blessed mom of 4 children. Nikolaas, Caitlin, Samantha and Alec. In 2010 Sam was determined to shave her head. She never became bald from her treatment and illness, but a lot of her friends had been bald and she wanted to share in that experience with them. I decided to shave with her, to support her. It became one of the most intense experiences of my life. Sharing it with her was amazing. She and I have been through a lot of bad things; this was a really good thing. We have met so many wonderful people since 2010 and continue to do so. I love my mommas....
We ARE 46 Mommas on a mission to raise awareness, raise funds for research and inspire others to help fund a cure for childhood cancer.
Each year a new class of 46 Mommas is inducted into the cause to empower and engage mothers of children with cancer. The number 46 is significant. On average, each weekday, 46 families receive the news that their child has cancer. Through increasing awareness of childhood cancer and raising funds for childhood cancer research by shaving our heads, we hope to one day be a group that no longer needs to exist.