Pediatric Brain Tumor Research 

in memory of Olivia Spiros

Olivia was diagnosed with an aggressive growing cancerous brain tumor, which affects the brain stem. The actual name of the tumor is medulloblastoma.

Olivia only showed signs/symptoms a little over 48 hours before she lapsed into a coma. The only signs/symptoms Olivia exhibited were signs/symptoms of a stomach virus or flu-type ailment. Within a little over 62 hours Olivia received her Angel wings.

The brain stem controls our most basic functions: breathing, swallowing, blood pressure and heart rate. There was no place for this tumor to go or grow.

Even if there was a miracle to find this tumor earlier, prognosis was still not good.  Neurosurgeons cannot even touch the brain stem because of all the functions the brain stem provides to the human body; they can't take any chances of affecting any of the functions of the brain.

Due to the fact the brains of children as young as Olivia are still growing and forming, physicians do not like to treat them with chemo or radiation due to the fact these treatments will affect the brain development. 

We took all of Olivia's information including CT's, MRI's, pathology slides, and records to The Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center, one of the member institutions of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium, in August 2003, for further investigation and evaluation. If the physicians at Duke are able to obtain one little bit of information to further their research, we will be the responsible parents we are to Olivia.

Needless to say the cancers that get most of the funding are Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Prostate Cancer, and Colon Cancer because more people are affected by them.  Pediatric Brain Tumors are low on the totem pole due to the smaller numbers of children affected.  Unfortunately for us and all the other families with children who are in our shoes.

Donating to the The Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center ensures the money will be used directly by this group of highly trained and dedicated investigators who are working together towards the common goals of understanding and curing brain tumors in children.  Please donate in Oliviaís memory and know that your money is going directly to fund the research of the medulloblastoma brain tumor.

Also, the PBTC is a cooperative effort of national medical and research facilities working in conjunction with each other, for the greater good of children. Each of the institutions has extensive experience working with pediatric brain tumors. The PBTC is set up to address age specific problems and improve therapeutic outcomes for children with primary brain tumors. We canít ask for anything more than all of the researchers to work in tandem.

Tax-Deductible Donations can be directed to:

The Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Duke University Medical Center

DUMC Box 3624

Durham, NC  27710


Payable to: The Brain Tumor Center at Duke

Memo: Memory of Olivia Spiros


A great resource for statistical information about brain tumors can be found at the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States.

Thank you for helping us to keep Oliviaís memory alive.  We are so truly blessed.

"On The Loss of A Child"

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