Life Interrupted: Medulloblastoma

  • Peter L. Stavinoha


Anthony 's parents had been planning a family trip to the coast for months. Anthony, a precocious 4-year-old with excellent language skills, had been to the beach once before and could not stop talking about the upcoming trip. On a cool Friday morning in autumn, Anthony 's mother was busy packing the family 's things for their 2-week vacation. She had decided to take the day off from work while Anthony was in day care so that she could take care of all the last-minute details. When the day-care staff called to report that Anthony did not seem right, she figured he might have come down with an illness that would make the plane ride less pleasant, but she certainly did not anticipate that the vacation would never happen.

When she arrived at the day care, she learned that Anthony had been having problems with balance all morning and had fallen several times. She also noticed that his eyes were moist and that his head was tilted to one side. “Tears are falling from my eyes, Mommy,” said Anthony with only a slight hint of distress in his voice but still looking to his mother to somehow make it stop. Anthony 's mother felt her heart jump and quickly scooped up Anthony and shuttled him to the emergency department.


Brain Tumor Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor Individualize Education Plan Educational Placement Processing Speed Index 
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Resources for Clinicians

  1. Butler, R. W., & Mulhern, R. K. (2005). Neurocognitive interventions for children and adolescents surviving cancer. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 30(1), 65–78.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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  3. National Cancer Institute. (2006). Late effects of treatment for childhood cancer (PDQ1). Retrieved October 16, 2006 from
  4. Schatz, J., Kramer, J. H., Ablin, A., & Matthay, K. K. (2000). Processing speed, working memory, and IQ: A developmental model of cognitive deficits following cranial radiation therapy. Neuropsychology, 14(2), 189–200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Resources for Families

  1. American Brain Tumor Association. Provides funding for brain tumor research and offers educational and support services for patients and families. Address: 2720 River Road Suite 146, Des Plaines, IL 60018-4110; phone: 1-800-886-2282; Web site and e-mail:;
  2. American Cancer Society. Dedicated to eliminating cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. Phone: 1-800-ACS-2345; Web site:
  3. The Brain Tumor Society. Provides information, resources, and support for people affected by brain tumors. Address: 124 Watertown Street, Suite 3H, Watertown, MA 02472; phone: 1-800-770-TBTS; Web site:
  4. The Children 's Brain Tumor Foundation. Committed to improving treatments, quality of life, and long-term outcomes for children with brain and spinal cord tumors through research, support, education, and advocacy. Address: 274 Madison Avenue, Suite 1004, New York, NY 10016; phone: (914) 238–7658; Web-site and e-mail:;
  5. National Brain Tumor Foundation. Provides information about brain tumors and their treatment. Information is available on clinical trials and medical centers specializing in brain tumors. Address: 22 Battery Street, Suite 612, San Francisco, CA 94111-5520; phone: 1-800-934-CURE; Web site and e-mail:;

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter L. Stavinoha
    • 1
  1. 1.Children's Medical CenterUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallas

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