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Kids ExploRE! Challenge Your Gifted Child Call for brochure 314.962.5920 Summer AcAdemieS for K-8 Ecology n Math n Rocketry n Science Ancient Greece n Colonial Times June 16-27 h June 30-July 11 h July 14-25 Monday-Friday 9:00am - 3:30 pm Held at Crossroads College Preparatory School 500 DeBaliviere Avenue | 63112 What’s standing in your way? ROBYN REED KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG when her daughter, Hailey, complained of seeing two princesses while watching The Princess and the Popstar, a Barbie movie. Not wanting to worry her mom, the 5-year-old quickly said she was just kidding. But a couple of months later after a routine tonsillectomy, Hailey woke up screaming in pain, hitting herself repeatedly on the back of her head. “We thought it was a side effect of the pain meds she was taking,” Reed says. Two weeks later, she still hadn’t recovered from the tonsillectomy and was experiencing frequent vomiting, dizzy spells and blurred vision. A brain scan showed Hailey had a large tumor. The ER physician immediately sent the family to Dr. Samer Elbabaa of SLUCare, the physicians of Saint Louis University. “Hailey’s tumor was larger than a golf ball and located in her cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance and movement coordination,” says Elbabaa, Reinert chair of pediatric neurosurgery, associate professor of neurosurgery and director of pediatric neurosurgery at SLU School of Medicine and SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. “We operated on her the very next day and discovered she had a juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, as I’d suspected. It’s a low-grade, slow-growing tumor that creates fluid buildup in the brain.” The surgery, an intricate procedure using microsurgical techniques, computer navigation and nerve monitoring, took nine hours. “One false move, and Hailey could have been disabled for life,” he notes. “I’m a father, and I cared for her like one of my own. My goal, as always, was to get her back on the playground as soon as possible.” Every day nine kids in the U.S. are diagnosed with a brain tumor, the leading cause of death from childhood cancer. More than 3,000 new cases are detected each year. “A tumor’s effects on a child’s physical and cognitive abilities can be devastating,” Elbabaa says. Even low-grade tumors like Hailey’s can wreak havoc if removed improperly. Left untreated, they can destroy healthy brain tissue as they grow. “Pediatric brain tumors can be difficult to treat,” he adds. “We try to avoid chemotherapy and radiation whenever possible, IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE HAILEY REED ONCE HAD A LIFE-THREATENING to avoid damaging the child’s BRAIN TUMOR. still-developing brain.” Hailey stayed in the hospital 10 days, followed by a week of physical therapy. Just months after her surgery, the prognosis is good. “She’s back in school and doing great,” Reed says. “She has slight problems with balance and hand-eye coordination, but that should improve as her recovery progresses. We take her to Cardinal Glennon every three months to make sure everything’s OK. You should have seen Dr. Elbabaa’s smile when we brought her in for her last check up! He’s thrilled she’s doing so well.” Hailey is sometimes a little skittish around Elbabaa, because she’s afraid visiting the hospital means the tumor has grown back, Reed adds. “But her dad and I always say, ‘Don’t be shy, honey—that’s the doctor who saved your life!’” PHOTO: SLUCARE Sometimes we need a little extra help to understand who we are and where we want to go in life. Let’s work together to: ~ make peace with the past ~ create motivation for lasting change ~ achieve balance and wholeness ~ experience joy, hope and self-reliance ~ live with intention — and thrive! Rachel Hasper m.a., lpc 314-717-1414 | First & Goal Football Camp June 23-27 7:30am to 4:00pm John F. Kennedy Catholic High School All-Day & Half-Day Camps available for 2 nd THrU 8 th grades First and Goal is a Full-contact camp. no contact is also offered. skill sessions are led by area high school football coaches. Players will be organized by age and ability level. $55 $200 $250 $10 314-706-0440 THERE’S a limited supply of equipment availablE foR campERS wHo do noT HavE THEiR own. SLUCARE by tony di martino (ExtEndEd CarE availablE) Daily Rate: Half-Day (Week): Full Day (Week): Lunch, snacks, drinks additional (per day) COVER STORY DR. SAMER ELBABAA OF SLUCARE PRACTICES AT SSM CARDINAL GLENNON CHILDREN’S MEDICAL CENTER. PICTURED ON THE COVER: DR. SAMER ELBABAA AND PATIENT HAILEY REED. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 314.977.4440 OR VISIT SLUCARE.EDU/PEDIATRICSURGERY. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL 314.400.5000 OR VISIT GREENWAYFAMILYOFFICE.COM. COVER DESIGN BY SARAH GIBSON | COVER COURTESY OF SLUCARE f 14 | TOWN& style | MAY 14, 2014