During one of her dance classes, 14-year-old Natalie began to feel pain throughout her body that made it difficult for her to move. An MRI revealed that a rare form of tumours, known as myxopapillary ependymomas, were developing in her spinal column. Natalie underwent an eight-hour surgery to remove the tumours. Luckily, they were able to remove all the growths, and Natalie was discharged and returned home after six days at the hospital.
Although Natalie still experiences some pain, her condition continues to improve. She will have routine MRIs the rest of her life as this type of tumour has a high chance of reoccurrence.
Always willing to lend a helping hand and never complaining, Natalie accepts her condition and doesn’t want any special attention. In fact, Natalie believes her illness has allowed her to put things into perspective and she does not take everyday things for granted. Natalie cannot wait to get back to dancing.