It was April of 2021 when I went to the emergency room with back pain that wouldn’t go away. Little did I know that this visit would change my life forever. After an MRI, the doctors discovered a mass in my spinal column. They told me to see a neurosurgeon as soon as possible and I didn’t waste any time. In May of 2021, I underwent my first spine surgery, followed by physical rehabilitation and therapy. I hoped for the best and assumed the tumor was benign, as suggested by my medical team, but the biopsy results received shortly after revealed a difficult and rare diagnosis. Over the next year, I underwent radiation, chemotherapy, and trial drugs, doing everything I could to regain my strength (which I did). Unfortunately, a routine follow-up MRI scan in August of 2022 revealed that the tumor had returned. In December 2022, I underwent another surgery. Post-surgery, I was making progress, but then in January 2023, I experienced a sharp decline in function in my legs. I was unable to stand unaided or walk any longer. The tumor was growing again. Throughout this whole experience, my young son has been my motivation. I want to be strong for him and show him that you never give up, no matter what life throws at you. Even though I’m now in a wheelchair, I’m learning to adjust to my new reality and continuing to fight for a brighter future for myself and my family. Every day is a new challenge, but I’m taking them on one at a time. I’m grateful for the support of my loved ones and the medical professionals who have/continue to help me along the way and, of course, my #1 side kick and “Big Helper” son.