WEEI>On Demand>>OMF - Katerina Mesa, 22, brain tumor, with Dr. Mark Kieran, director, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Center, Dana-Farber

OMF - Katerina Mesa, 22, brain tumor, with Dr. Mark Kieran, director, Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Center, Dana-Farber

Aug 30, 2016|

Katerina was a junior at Simmons College in 2015. On top of school work, she was working 3 jobs and began to suffer from bad headaches—in her spring semester her pain had become unbearable. In addition to the pain, she was also having difficulty keeping food down, remembering things and was having trouble keeping her balance. Eventually, she could barely spell or write. In April 2015, Katerina had a CT scan of her brain which revealed a tumor. She had brain surgery, then began chemotherapy and radiation. She recently completed treatment. Katerina comes from a huge family in Miami. Her hobbies include playing the piano and singing. She is singing the National Anthem at tonight’s game! Katerina is still a student at Simmons college, majoring in chemistry and will hopefully graduate Spring of 2017! She would like to work in the cosmetics industry and create safer product alternatives for women.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I looked pretty thick and green and makes up 42 years of age she's from Miami Florida grew at all and I just. I love Miami Pitt and doctor Mark Gearan it was the director of pediatric. Neuro oncology center here at that Dana Farber it's great to meet them both of you. Trimarche tell us your story. Actually in college as a nineteen year. And that had a headache which you go to college Simmons college of its own. She lead Miami to go to school we have a lot of people who go down there because they think they're both parties on the money and even though it won't hurt. Yeah. And then them. I was feeling headaches for awhile and doesn't think much of them and then during. I do me and my spring semester and it got to look for our write this on my name couldn't spot anything them. Considering everything happens really horrible. And when I was diagnosed. Sorry sir. National nose and I had surgery and brain surgery like three days later. And then I went to them at that time radiation. Thanking them and they did chemo for a year and a half hitting much. And and I'm really grateful I'm really grateful for ray and make treatment done. He conveyed kind. Didn't. How you doing now. He really well great a year you're Europe here you're going to school at large scale. Animate and do you do that must've been tough on them I mean your here in Boston the. Lot of try to make it up here to see you be with you can they actually moved up with me and to pair me. I think for the whole entire times. And just really grateful for everything having on style and she failed. Room errant like family filled the room every time. It wasn't authorized. Yeah I am an Obama speaks for the doctor Brothers sisters aunts uncles were we talking. I tuck in my mom I want parents are divorced or talking my mom and a dad and then my step mom. And then my sister sometimes and coming my brother would come she's here like he had me he. And then spitting image and then it would cans grade so you're you're a little bit nervous right now. OK you have a big big night and I do and I'm actually mourners to do this. Okay and your your comfort zone and I think you're seeing the National Anthem. Dancing in the National Anthem if you want to. Practice. You want to help you think you're a non I would talk until you play bongos at the National Anthem. But no we can't know smile and I don't want you on the spot that's that's an area that's really cool deal right and you possess. That's that's huge so you singing lessons singing major would you. On you and the chemistry major inning and then a cappella group at Simmons. And so I like a movie I can go like that one that pent just like yeah and it didn't competition here today I'm on YouTube singing that. With the name your group Simmons sirens okay didn't. I liked it then and then nice and study for a little bit and EC. New England territory with my professor agenda here in the C she's been really wonderful to his almost by investment in a weird way. I mean obviously as the lines across the offensive. Renee and really testing. She's been in the. So dock where she right now she's finished the treatment and what's going on. So now it's you know that the treatment is incredibly successful so great how it's a question is dealing with some of the consequences of treatment. You know. We've become very effective in curing these tumors we now recognize that disease she has actually used four different types of diseases. So we've become much more sophisticated it's forcing them out in amplifying the therapies for the ones were a little less successful for. And decreasing the intensity or the toxicity that there be. In those that were already highly successful or. Does not just about curative care and be able to do the things you want to live the life to have kids get a job you all those things. And and so in her circumstance fortunately it's one of the better times were very optimistic. We are gonna have to deal with some of the consequences for example one of the drugs we gave her affects a little bit the tone of your voice. Which for someone like me is irrelevant. I couldn't I can't spell anyways I would never be any and that's I would affect any event for me. But for someone who sings that was obviously critical thing and these are the things that we were dealing with both through that therapy and need to deal with. As we go forward. Amazed that you actually thinking about stuff like that which is you know it's it's not just curing you were saying OK you're fine though as a human being it's. Looking at your life and saying we want to make sure your complete person and Igawa that's ultimately adopt what what the last two you've been at this for one of those treatments and everything so. The last ten years or timeline as far as it weird these developments in treatments have gone as far as brain tumors that's. Ten years ago. We knew very little we treated most pediatric patients is that they were small adults. We've now realized that the mutations and abnormalities in pediatric tumors are completely different from adults. And many of the mutations including in the type of Joba installment that we're talking about here are mutations that don't even occur in the adult form of the disease. And so we've basically gone back to the drawing board understood the underlying biology. And he said what's what's the big advantage or one of the major advantage to being in a comprehensive cancer center. It's not just that your cares personalize it. You know your surgeon does nothing but operate on brain tumors radiation therapist does nothing but greedy kids the brains of kids with brain tumors. It's that you can do the molecular profiling that allows you to understand. What mutation your tumor has and then develop a treatment strategy that is as individualized to you and your tumor are. And that's not just how YouTube improve the cure rate which I have to say is gone up dramatically. In the last eight years it's also dramatically decrease the toxicity rate is you're absolutely right this isn't just about whether Euro alive or dead. And I have children and I don't I just didn't want them to survive childhood I want them to be successful happy well adjusted adults. That you know can get a job and get married have families and do the kinds of things that every other person would wish for their own children. Well that's what we want for our kids with cancers doctor Karen thank you very much for the work you do it's absolutely amazing. It's great meeting you can read and it continued success line tonight we'll get all you think about all we are watching you tonight senate Bill Joy I think yeah. You very much.

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