powering cures, realizing futures

Teddie Criscuolo

In August of 2023, right after her third birthday, Teddie Criscuolo went in for a routine six-minute MRI to explore the potential cause of some headaches. Those six minutes turned into two and a half excruciating hours of waiting. When the doctors emerged, they revealed the cause of Teddie’s headaches – she had an astrocytoma, a brain tumor.

One week later, Teddie had a brain tumor biopsy and chiari malformation surgery where the top vertebrae of her spine was removed to relieve pressure on the tumor. This surgery went into the early hours of the morning — and it was only the beginning. Within two weeks, Teddie had her first round of chemotherapy. Over the next 379 days, Teddie endured 33 chemotherapy treatments, six middle-of-the-night trips to the ER, and three bouts in the PICU. Finally, Teddie’s body could no longer withstand treatments and she was moved to the “wait and watch” stage. This includes regular MRIs every three to six months and otherwise living life as normally as she can – hoping that the tumor disappears or that it does not grow or change at all so she can live a long, happy life with no side effects.

Now 7 years old, Teddie personifies strength, bravery and resilience, She lights up every room she walks into with her spunky personality and loves being with her parents and two sisters.

As a group, astrocytomas are the most common central nervous system tumor in children, representing approximately 40 percent of pediatric central nervous system tumors. These tumors can occur anywhere in the brain or spinal cord but are most common in the cerebellum. Most cases occur between the ages of 5 years and 9 years.

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