A Reader Responds: A Common Parasite With An Uncommon Name: Toxoplasma Gondii is Associated with Brain Cancer

A reader named Fiorella, recently reached out in response to an article we wrote entitled: A Common Parasite With An Uncommon Name: Toxoplasma Gondii is Associated with Brain Cancer. This is her family’s story.

Fiorella’s Story

My brothers were born on the 4th of January, 1994. They were identical twins. Maurizio, the second baby, had a tumor in the brain. But we didn’t learn this until the boys were 5 years old.

Both boys had normal first years but Maurizio was a little slow for everything when compared with Giovanni. Additionally, the left side of his head seemed just a little bit big in the back.

Maurizio had more headaches than his brother. Hey also experienced some pain and coldness on his hands. He also slept more.

The Diagnosis

On Saturday, July 12th, 1999 he was cyanotic and had a headache. We brought him to the clinic. That is where he received his diagnosis. Maurizio had a brain tumor.

He was on intubation for 1 day. Then he was not the same boy. He was given a Pudenz Valve.

One month later we went to Johns Hopkins. On the MRI they found cysticercosis, a parasitic tissue infection caused by tapeworms.

Maurizio was given treatment of radiotherapy and gamma knife radiosurgery. Sadly, he died on July 12th, 2001 at only 7 years old.

Then, 20 years later, my cousin at 36 years old (who is also a twin) was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was determined she had glioma glioblastoma multiform grade 4.

She had an operation and the doctors were able to remove almost 90% of it.

Now she is on treatment and doing very well. She is being given both radiotherapy and oral chemotherapy.

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