CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio– Just two years ago, life for Danielle Kirby of Cuyahoga Falls changed in an instant.
“Went for a 4-mile run, and I came upstairs and I sat on the couch to watch television and I had two seizures.”
Kirby was rushed to the hospital and a CT scan revealed devastating news: an acorn-sized mass on the right side of her head. It was ultimately diagnosed as glioblastoma, rare and often fatal form of brain cancer.
“I was in utter shock. I couldn’t believe that this was happening. I was newly engaged to my now husband and life was just perfect. And I’m like, why now, why?” she said.
Doctors performed a craniotomy to remove the aggressive tumor.
Dr. David Peereboom is the director of clinical research at the Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center.
“It’s not possible to take the tumor out completely. So, unlike other types of cancer where a patient might be able to be cured with surgery alone, when a patient has surgery for glioblastoma, they always need additional treatment,” Peereboom said.
He said brain radiation and chemo is needed because this type of cancer cannot be cured with a survival rate of 12 to 14 months.
The grim prognosis prompted Kirby and her husband Russ to push up their wedding date by a year, tying the knot in Honduras just four months after surgery.
She is currently in a clinical trial, which involves immunotherapy.
“The goal is to turn on your immune system, so your own body fights off the cancer.”
As of today, her’s cancer is stable with no evidence of the disease.
“I will beat this. I will fight the odds.”