It has definitely been a miracle in the making for Ashville’s Brittany Baccus.
Two years ago, while on vacation in Colorado, Brittany called her mom in Alabama telling her she had a terrible headache.
The next day, Brittany called her mom again telling her she was unable to lift her head and could not get out of bed because the headaches were so severe.
Anita Baccus told her daughter to get her friend’s dad to take her to an urgent care facility. A CT scan showed a brain tumor.
Her parents were 1,800 miles away, and felt helpless. They flew to Denver where their 25-year-old daughter had been admitted to the Denver Trauma Center. She had surgery the next day, and it was discovered she had a childhood cancer called Medulloblastoma.
Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, and it accounts for about 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors. Most medulloblastoma tumors are found in children younger than age 16, but they can rarely occur in adults.
They were in Denver 28 days. And during that time she had four brain surgeries. Then, a UAB medical jet flew to Denver to fly her and her mom back to Birmingham. She had a permanent shunt put in.
“Two years ago, she was given three months to live,” said her mom. “I call Brittany my miracle baby. If I was one who did not believe in miracles before this, I do now.”
Through all of this, Brittany did not speak for 10 months, and was in a vegetative coma. For 16 months, she had a peg tube in her stomach because she was unable to eat. She is still unable to walk.
Recently, a fundraiser (Believers for Brittany) at the H&R Block building in Ashville made $3,168 to help the family with medical expenses.
Organizer Cindy Martin said the event turned out to be an amazing day for everyone involved.
“To see the Ashville and surrounding communities come out and support such a great cause just warms my heart and makes me proud to say I’m from this city,” Martin said. “Meeting Brittany has made me step back and look at what all we take for granted each day. To hear her goals for this year being as small as to walk just makes me realize how lucky we all are. I know she will reach her goal.”
Martin thanked everyone who came out, donated something, purchased something, or just prayed for this family. A special treat for Brittany was seeing the pink cancer survivor firetruck come out all the way from Dora.
H&R Block Ashville office manager Lindsey Burttram said this was a group effort to make it a special day for Brittany and her family.
“It is a lot of work and stressful at times, but the outcome is all worth it,” Burttram said. “To know that we can raise money to help a family with medical bills to make it easier and less stressful for them is why we do this.”
Brittany Baccus said it makes her happy to see so many people come out to support her.
“It’s been two years since this all happened, but it's all getting better,” she said. “We have met so many nice people through this, and it makes me want to work even harder – not just for me, but for all the people supporting me.”
Anita Baccus said to God be the glory for sending such beautiful people who have touched her daughter’s life.
“This makes living in a small town worthwhile,” Mrs. Baccus said. “You wouldn't get anything like this in a big city. To everyone who had a part in this, God bless you all.”
Chuck Baccus said this makes life a lot easier not seeing his wife stressing over bills.
“I work pretty much all the time, and this really helped out my family,” he said.
Reach Gary Hanner at firstname.lastname@example.org.