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Brain Cancer: Destiny haunts a family

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A young Quebec woman must begin the battle of her life, just weeks before her 20th birthday, to deal with an inoperable brain tumor at the same time her grandmother is carried away by the same disease, which may be partly hereditary.

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“When I learned that my daughter was going to be transferred to the same bed that my mother had occupied a few days earlier at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, the children touched. I couldn’t believe it was happening to us, “says Anne Harvey emotionally.


Marianne Genois on the hospital bed occupied by her grandmother.

Courtesy photo

Marianne Genois on the hospital bed occupied by her grandmother.

For several weeks, her 19-year-old daughter, Marianne Genois, had severe headaches that her relatives attributed to migraines. But, in mid-July, her pain was so intense that she had to go to the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus to receive adequate treatment.

It was then that he was diagnosed with diffuse midline glioma. This is advanced and inoperable brain cancer, partly due to where it is located.

“The sky has fallen over our heads, like an accumulation of bad news. It’s one thing to bury your parents, it’s another to bury your children, “breathes the mother of the family.

A genetic prevalence?


Louise Gaudreault celebrates her last birthday.  She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with similar incurable cancer.

Courtesy photo

Louise Gaudreault celebrates her last birthday. She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with similar incurable cancer.

A few months earlier, Marianne Genois’ own grandmother learned that she suffered from a similar brain tumor. Louise Gaudreault finally died on July 24, at the age of 72, just a week after she was diagnosed as being her granddaughter.

“Yet he was given at least a year and a half of treatment. We like to think she left early to take care of Marianne, “says Mmyself Harvey, surrounded by the flowers that had been used at her mother’s funeral the day before.

Doctors also believe that genetics may have some role to play in the prevalence of this disease in the family. One of their cousins ​​also received a similar diagnosis recently.

Given the situation, Anne Harvey, who has been suffering from migraines for years, must receive the results of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) within a few days to see if she has inherited this “gene”.

Head full of projects

Meanwhile, the daughter is subjected to numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that aim to slow down the expansion of the tumor, even if they will never cure the young 19-year-old woman.

Despite the situation, she refuses to feel compassion for herself and says she enjoys life, surrounded by the people she loves. Her relatives also refused to know the prognosis established by the doctors.

“I try to be the same Marianne as before, but I live for the day. I have no choice, “suggests the main stakeholder.

A lover of fashion, she would like to take advantage of her last moments to launch her clothing company for exceptional people or to visit high fashion cities around the world.

A fundraising campaign launched by a family friend will help her make her dreams come true. She will also alleviate the financial stress of her mother, who had to close her daycare to take care of her and her mother for a few months.

Diffuse midline glioma

  • Also called brain stem infiltrating glioma
  • Aggressive brain tumor that begins in the brain stem
  • There is no cure
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment from a palliative perspective
  • Median overall survival is 11 months

Source: Merck Manuals and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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