My name is Steffanie Moriarty and I am currently 26 years old. I was 24 when I was diagnosed with my brain tumor. I was beginning to have headaches on a daily basis and was experiencing absent seizures (which I thought at the time was just low blood sugar). I knew something was wrong when I started getting sick every morning from the increased intracranial pressure. I had just started nursing school at the time so I thought that the headaches may be induced from the stress that I was experiencing, but deep down I knew it was a bigger deal. I went to the ER on my dads birthday ( I didn’t have insurance) and found out that I had a brain tumor the size of a golfball at my left temporal lobe and surrounding my optic nerves down to the base of my skull. I think that night was the hardest night of my life. I was in the hospital for 6 days when the morning of my surgery my surgeon came in and told me after doing soul searching he didn’t feel equipped enough to do my surgery and due to my age wanted to send me to somebody else. That was hard to hear. I didn’t think it was that bad, I week later I was in a different neuro icu undergoing surgery with someone who specialized in where my tumor was located. I am happy to say that he used my videos to teach other neurosurgeons through mayo clinic, it was the only good thing I could see at that point. My eye and the complete left side of my face was taken out and down in order to get to the whole tumor. He did an amazing job putting me back together. He also did a fat graft of my stomach to fill in some extra spaces.
After my surgery I was offered disability but refused to accept it. My life’s dream was to help people and I have always been determined to be a nurse! I graduate with my RN in 4 months!! I am proud of myself but sometimes have a really hard time letting go of my past. I am scared sometimes of my tumor coming back… since my surgery I have had patients with brain tumors who I was able to talk to, its been such a blessing! But I still battle anxiety on a daily basis and sometimes have a hard time remaining positive. I came to this site for inspiration and to be able to relate to people. I am thankful to have found you all and look forward to speaking with all of you!