On a fateful day in June 2023, the life of 20-year-old Ciara Tomlinson took an unexpected turn. A rising junior at Florida State University and a promising student, Ciara had always enjoyed good health and a vibrant spirit. However, the end of 2022 brought a series of mysterious symptoms that would lead her on a journey of medical uncertainties. This is the story of Ciara’s battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPGs), her determination to fight, and the outpouring of support from her loved ones and community.
Ciara Tomlinson Desperate Search for Answers:
Ciara’s ordeal began with dizzy spells, followed by relentless nausea, vomiting bile each morning, double vision, slurred speech, and more recently, partial facial paralysis and weakened voice. Concerned, Ciara and her family sought help from medical professionals for seven long months. They pleaded for tests and scans, undergoing multiple blood works and a CT scan during her spring break. Yet, despite their efforts, everything appeared normal. A specialist even dismissed the possibility of vertigo, leaving the family grasping for answers. Eventually, Ciara was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but her symptoms persisted, intensifying with the onset of facial paralysis.
Ciara Tomlinson Heartbreaking Diagnosis:
June 16th marked a turning point in Ciara’s journey. It was the day she received a dreaded phone call from her physician, urging her to go to the emergency room immediately. Scans had revealed a tumor in Ciara’s brain stem, specifically in the 4th ventricle. Neurosurgeons from Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Shands Hospital in Gainesville conducted further investigations, confirming the presence of a 3.5 cm tumor. Tragically, due to its location, the tumor was deemed inoperable. Determining the exact type of tumor required a brain biopsy, which subsequently revealed the devastating diagnosis: Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Gliomas (DIPGs). This rare and aggressive form of cancer carries a prognosis of a mere 6-9 months of life expectancy.
The Battle Begins:
Armed with this devastating news, Ciara’s medical team explored treatment options. Radiation emerged as the primary proposed solution, involving 6-8 weeks of daily sessions. Another possibility was participating in a clinical trial combining immunotherapy with radiation, aiming to shrink the tumor. Although the details of these treatments were scarce, Ciara’s unwavering strength and courage propelled her to embrace this opportunity. She saw it as a beacon of hope not only for herself but also for others enduring a similar battle. Ciara refused to surrender and became determined to pave the way for breakthroughs in the fight against DIPGs.
A Call for Support:
Throughout this challenging time, the Tomlinson family has been deeply touched by the outpouring of support and love from their community. They express their profound gratitude to everyone who has kept Ciara in their thoughts and prayers. To continue supporting Ciara’s journey and the ongoing research on this rare cancer, the family humbly requests donations. Any contribution, whether monetary or through positive energy, is sincerely appreciated. Those unable to provide financial assistance are encouraged to offer prayers for Ciara and others facing similar circumstances.
A Message of Gratitude:
The Tomlinson family recognizes that the road ahead is fraught with uncertainties and challenges. However, the support they have received thus far has been a source of comfort and strength. They are forever grateful to each person who has stood by Ciara’s side, their kindness and encouragement providing solace during this trying time.