Brain tumor: At 19, she begins the battle of her life against the disease that killed her grandmother

A young Quebec woman must begin the battle of her life to face an inoperable brain tumor just weeks before her 20th birthday, while her grandmother is swept away by the same illness, which could be partly hereditary.

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“When I learned that my daughter was going to be put in the same bed my mother had been in a few days earlier at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus, the sons touched. I couldn’t believe this was happening to us,” says Anne Harvey emotionally.

Marianne Genois on her grandmother's sickbed.

With kind approval

Marianne Genois on her grandmother’s sickbed.

Her 19-year-old daughter, Marianne Genois, had severe headaches for several weeks, which her relatives attributed to migraines. But in mid-July the pain was so severe that she had to go to the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus for appropriate treatment.

At that time, he was diagnosed with diffuse midline glioma. This is an advanced and inoperable brain tumor, partly because of its location.


Photo agency QMI, Pascal Huot

“The sky has fallen on our heads like a bunch of bad news. It’s one thing to bury your parents, but another to bury your children,” breathes the mother of the family.

A genetic prevalence?

Louise Gaudreault celebrates her last birthday.  She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with a similar incurable cancer.

With kind approval

Louise Gaudreault celebrates her last birthday. She died a week after her granddaughter was diagnosed with a similar incurable cancer.

A few months earlier, Marianne Genois’ grandmother herself found out that she was suffering from a similar brain tumor. Louise Gaudreault finally died on July 24 at the age of 72, barely a week after announcing her granddaughter’s diagnosis.

“However, he received treatment for at least a year and a half. We like to think that she left earlier to take care of Marianne,” says Mme Harvey surrounded by the flowers used at her mother’s funeral the day before.


Photo agency QMI, Pascal Huot

Doctors also believe that genetics may play some role in the prevalence of this disease in the family. One of her cousins ​​recently received a similar diagnosis.

Given the situation, Anne Harvey, who has suffered from migraines for years, needs to receive the results of a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan within a few days to check if she has inherited this “gene”.

Head full of projects

Meanwhile, her daughter is undergoing numerous chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments aimed at slowing the spread of the tumor, although they will never cure the 19-year-old girl.

Despite the situation, she refuses to feel sorry for herself and says she enjoys life surrounded by the people she loves. His relatives also refused to know the prognosis made by the doctors.


Photo agency QMI, Pascal Huot

“I try to be the same Marianne as before, but I live from day to day. I have no choice,” the main prospect suggests.

As a fashion lover, she wants to use her last moments to start her own clothing business for extraordinary people or to visit haute couture cities around the world.

A fundraiser go fund me started by a family friend will help her achieve her dreams. This also relieves the financial burden on her mother, who had to close her daycare center for a few months to look after herself and her own mother.

Diffuse midline glioma

  • Also called infiltrating brainstem glioma
  • Aggressive brain tumor that starts in the brainstem
  • There is no cure
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy from a palliative perspective
  • The median overall survival is 11 months

Source: Merck Manuals and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

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