North County Water and Sports Therapy Center - April 2021


“In 2014, our daughter, Lauren, graduated high school. She was your typical teenage girl, hanging out with her friends, loving junk food, and looking forward to college with her sights on law school. “Our lives turned from bad to worse that summer. What started out as a misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis turned out to be an inoperable brain tumor on her brain stem. By the time she was correctly diagnosed, the tumor had doubled in size, and she was paralyzed on the right side of her body and lost the ability to talk and swallow. Lauren was hospitalized for a month — radiation being the only treatment available. “After her release, she started out on a long road of recovery — multiple trips to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy each week. She relearned many of the things we take for granted — walking, writing, talking, and eating. Ryan Monagle, a North County Water and Sports physical therapist, was instrumental in enabling her to walk again. “It was during her rehabilitation that Lauren found out about the Brain Tumor Walk. She organized a team and even paid tribute to her type of brain tumor — a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma — by naming her team the “Ponteam.” Her shirt design is the one we still wear on the walk today. “Unfortunately, Lauren’s brain tumor metastasized, and even clinical trials were not able to save her. She passed away two months prior to the Brain Tumor Walk in 2015. Our family participates in the Brain Tumor Walk each year in honor of Lauren and to raise awareness and money for the goal of finding a cure for brain tumors.” –Susan and John Mahoney

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