Watch & learn: seeking a second opinion & recovery from a spinal cord tumor
Watch & learn: seeking a second opinion & recovery from a spinal cord tumor
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Seeking a Second Opinion

Image. CERN Advisor Mark Gilbert, M.D., works with a patient in a doctor's office.

Seeking a Second Opinion

Ependymoma is less common than other brain or spinal cord tumors. Being diagnosed with a rare disease is difficult and finding quality information can be even harder. When possible, we encourage ependymoma patients to seek medical opinions with neuro-oncologists that have experience with this rare disease. This can be done at the time of the initial diagnosis or if you experience a recurrence. The CERN Foundation, a program of the National Brain Tumor Society, wants to help you find an expert neuro-oncology team that specializes in treating ependymoma.
Watch now:
Dr. Zsila Sadighi, Pediatric Neuro-Oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center explains the importance of seeking a second opinion to ependymoma patients.

A Story Of Recovery From Spinal
Cord Tumor Surgery

By Dawn S.
"The first thing I remember after surgery is being able to move my hands and feet and breathe on my own. I remember smiling. I was not paralyzed. My neurosurgeon later told me that I said, ‘I’m a rock star.’ I probably did. It sounds like something I would say."
So begins Dawn’s recovery from a surgery that removed a spinal cord tumor located in what doctors refer to as "a high real estate area" of her spine — cervical levels 1 and 2, just below the brain. The tumor was a grade II ependymoma.
Adults with spinal cord tumors are exceedingly rare, and written accounts of what it’s like to survive tumor-removal surgery are even more rare. Dawn was told that things would be "different" after surgery, but she had no idea just how strange her sensory experiences would turn out to be.
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Support the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education
With your generous support, we will continue to expand our efforts to improve the care and outcome of people with ependymoma. Under “Direct My Gift to Support,” remember to select the Ependymoma Research and Education Fund.
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The CERN Foundation and the National Brain Tumor Society have joined forces to help people with ependymoma and advance ependymoma research toward the development of new and better treatments through the creation of the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education. Today, the CERN Foundation is officially a designated program of the National Brain Tumor Society. Donations to the Ependymoma Fund for Research and Education will be made on the NBTS website and used to support research efforts that will benefit both ependymoma patients and research through CERN. Emphasis will be placed on CERN’s historical model of supporting work that translates basic science into clinical practice. The Fund will also address overcoming barriers to clinical trial accrual and the development of new clinical studies for ependymoma patients. Additional funds will be used to support educational efforts through print, media, and awareness events. The new collaborative Ependymoma Fund will continue CERN’s practice and tradition of involving and collaborating with other scientists, medical providers, foundations and supporters of ependymoma research.
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