Brain cancer: at the age of 19 he begins the fight of his life against the disease that took his grandmother

Brain cancer: at the age of 19 he begins the fight of his life against the disease that took his grandmother

A young woman from Quebec must begin the fight of her life, just weeks before her 20th birthday, to face an inoperable brain tumor at the same time that her grandmother is swept away by the same disease, which could be in part hereditary.

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“When I found out that my daughter was going to be transferred to the same bed that my mother had occupied a few days before at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, the children touched each other. I couldn’t believe what was happening to us”, says Anne Harvey excitedly.


Marianne Genois in her grandmother's hospital bed.

courtesy photo

Marianne Genois in her grandmother’s hospital bed.

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

It was then that he was diagnosed with a diffuse midline glioma. This is an advanced, inoperable brain cancer, in part due to its location.

“The sky has fallen on our heads, like an accumulation of bad news. It is one thing to bury your parents, but another is to bury your children”, breathes the mother of the family.

A genetic prevalence?


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

courtesy photo

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

A few months earlier, Marianne Genois’s own grandmother learned that she had a similar brain tumor. Louise Gaudreault finally passed away on July 24, at the age of 72, just a week after her granddaughter’s diagnosis was announced.

“However, they gave him at least a year and a half of treatment. We like to think that he left earlier to take care of Marianne,” says M.me Harvey, surrounded by the flowers that were used at her mother’s funeral the day before.

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

Given the situation, Anne Harvey, who has suffered from migraines for years, should receive the results of a nuclear magnetic resonance (MRI) within a few days to check if she has inherited this “gene”.

head full of projects

Meanwhile, her daughter undergoes numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments that aim to stop the expansion of the tumor, although they will never cure the 19-year-old.

Despite the situation, she refuses to feel sorry for herself and says that 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 from day to day. I have no choice”, suggests the main interested party.

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

A fundraising campaign go finance me started by a family friend will help her achieve her dreams. It will also relieve financial stress for her mother, who had to close her daycare to care for her and her own mother for a few months.

Diffuse midline glioma

  • Also called infiltrating brainstem glioma
  • Aggressive brain tumor that begins in the brainstem
  • there is no cure
  • Treatment with radiotherapy and chemotherapy in a palliative perspective
  • Median overall survival is 11 months.

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

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