Inspiring Young Girl Diagnosed With Brain Tumor Shares Her Story

Published 03/10 2014 01:25PM

Updated 03/10 2014 01:39PM

This is an inspiring story of a young girl here in Fort Wayne who was diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening brain tumor.  The doctors told her she only has 10 years left to live.

WFFT's Tara Petitt brings us her story, as well as her family's experiences being by her side.

"10 years ago, she would not have survived this.  10 year ago, they would've just sent her home, and she would've died."

Dee Landes has been fighting a brain tumor for over 10 years, but it wasn't until May of 2013 when she would be diagnosed.

"I started to get headaches, and I just thought it was because of vision, vision bad, being in college, didn't have the money to go see an eye doctor, so I just thought it was I needed a prescription update."

It took over a year of multiple doctors, numerous MRI's, and several false diagnoses before they knew for sure what was causing Dee so much pain.

"She got a phone call from down in Indy from the doctor, from the neurologist, and said that it was a tumor and I just don't even remember after that."

It was a matter of days before Dee was transferred to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where she would undergo 4 surgeries.

"It's really hard to kiss your daughter goodbye when she's going in for brain surgery 4 times."

Because of the shape of the tumor, the doctors were not able to get all of it out without risking severe brain damage.

"When he came out and said he couldn't get all of the tumor out, and then let us know that she only had 10 years to live...that was really difficult."

"It was pretty much just God telling me 'you need to stop, like, you're working yourself too much.  Just stop and enjoy life'."

Since her surgery, Dee has made huge strides towards recovery.

"Once I got home, I just decided I wasn't going to dwell on what I couldn't do."

"I tell people all I can do is laugh about it.  Honestly, cause what else are you gonna do in this situation?  I can either stay bitter about it and just be in a deep depression, or I can laugh about it and enjoy what I have left of life."

If you'd like to keep up with Dee's health status, you can "like her Facebook support page called Dee's Brain Defenders, or you can also help support her and her family by donating online to help offset medical costs here.

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