When 8 year old Heidi started getting her sentences a bit jumbled up and was sometimes a bit wobbly on her feet, her parents were not particularly concerned. But a short time later when Heidi’s left eye turned in, they took her straight to the doctor, who immediately sent her to hospital. Heidi’s first ever plane ride was with the Royal Flying Doctors to PMH, where she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour.
Heidi has an inoperable Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) located in her brain stem, which grew to be the size of an egg in the space of just 2 weeks. Heidi is having 6 weeks of radiotherapy in conjunction with an experimental chemotherapy tablet, which makes her very tired very quickly. She had to be taken off the chemo temporarily as her liver was beginning to shut down, and she has been told she will soon begin to lose her hair.
Although the radiotherapy should dramatically improve Heidi’s symptoms, they are expected to recur after 6 to 9 months and then progress quickly. DIPG currently has no cure.
During her treatment, she is staying at the Ronald McDonald house, and the thing she is looking forward to most is going home to feed her dogs.
Despite all this, Heidi doesn’t let it stop her from the doing the things she wants to do. She is one of the bravest girls around!
Heidi likes Sponge Bob, tacos and sushi.