"The headaches continued to worsen," Lisa Allain remembers Welland.
"Then I began to feel nausea and I was having trouble finding words. I noticed that something was badly bad after I had an attack."
Allain underwent scans at his local hospital, which revealed the presence of a brain tumor.
"Receiving the diagnosis was the most horrifying moment of my life," she says. "I was 26 years old with two children, and I did not know how long I had to live. Shook my family to the core without knowing if there would be tomorrow."
Allain received a biopsy at the Hamilton General Hospital and additional tests at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Center. His attention team determined that surgery was too dangerous an option, so an intense program of radiotherapy and medication began to curb the growth of the tumor.
Another surprise came when Allain discovered he was pregnant.
"I was scared about how the cancer would affect the baby," recalls Allain. "I am also concerned that pregnancy may cause the tumor to grow. I was admitted to the McMaster University Medical Center, where the highest risk obstetrician team helped calm down. Ask me during this stressful time. "
Allain went into a septic shock for 29 weeks in pregnancy, which was potentially life-threatening for her and the baby. Fortunately, it stabilized and gave birth to a healthy girl at 35 weeks.
"I was so grateful when I heard that my daughter, Aspen, wept and knew it was ok. I call her my baby a miracle."
Allain continues receiving outpatient care at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Center. His ongoing course with cancer has helped to get a perspective on the important things of life.
"Every day is a real gift for me," she says. "Thanks to the amazing attention I receive from Hamilton Health Sciences, I can be home for the holidays with my family. I can see that my beautiful children grow up and I can continue to be an active member of the community that I love a lot. I am really blessed ".
Allain shares his story in support of the Gift of Health campaign, which collects funds to allow the specialized care provided by Hamilton Health Sciences. Donor support from the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation is essential to make this level of specialized care possible for patients like Allain living in Niagara and south of central Ontario.