She has changed from someone eager for the future to someone who struggles to get through the day without pain.
Mariah Lonsway, 19, has a brain tumor. It's not cancerous, but it is affecting her life in profound ways.
Her family has found a surgeon who is willing to remove it, but the trip to his office and the surgery require money she doesn't have.
"I've always loved medicine. I would sit there like a little kid watching mystery diagnosis on TV and you know, eating my SpaghettiOs when I was 9. I've always had a passion for it," Lonsway said.
Thing young woman's journey to save lives is at a halt because she has a tumor on her pineal gland.
"It is in the geographical center of my brain, which sucks," Lonsway said.
The tumor is not cancerous, but it rubs against other parts of her brain causing a litany of health issues like nausea, migraines, ringing in the ears and memory loss.
"She could be in the middle of saying something, 'so mom how was your day today? Did you go here or wait' then she'd just stop and go, 'what were we talking about,'" said Jennifer Kanary, Lonsway's mom.
They fear the tumor could grow, even block the fluid to her brain.
"That can kill you. People have spontaneously just dropped dead from high intercranial pressure as it is," Lonsway said.
She needs surgery.
"They go in through the back of your head and they kind of spread the lobes of your brain apart," Lonsway said.
It's such a specialized program that very few doctors are qualified to deal with it.
"There's two that have very good reputations," Lonsway said.
The doctor they are going to is in Houston. The problem is the trip and brain surgery are hard to afford. They are looking for help.
Lonsway is confident this doctor can save her so she might do the same one day.
"I just think it would be really cool to have a neurosurgeon that's already had brain surgery before," she said.
The family flies to Houston on Saturday. Lonsway's surgery is scheduled for Aug. 1.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help with costs.
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