Brother with TSC Motivates Harvard-Bound Sister

Chiprez Ramirez describes her younger brother Francisco as her “little ray of sunshine.” Talking to MSN, she said that his rare disease journey and strength are what motivate her to push herself further. So far, in fact, that she has applied and gotten into Harvard University! Francisco lives with tuberous sclerosis complex, meaning that he has benign tumors that form throughout his body. Watching his journey, Chiprez has found inspiration, and now she plans to attend medical school.

Love Between Siblings

Living with a rare condition can be difficult for the affected individual, as well as the loved ones around them. Chiprez is no stranger to this concept; watching her brother have to miss out on activities with other children, handle seizures and developmental delay, and stay home from school breaks her heart. She says that not being able to do anything to help is one of the hardest parts.

Growing up and watching her brother attend countless appointments, handle various treatments, and translating for her parents with doctors has pushed Chiprez to be the best version of herself that she’s capable of. She has worked tremendously hard to achieve her dreams, and all of her work has paid off. She was accepted into Harvard University, and she plans to attend medical school afterward to make a difference in the medical community for those like her brother.

Chiprez’s Harvard acceptance is not the only positive news that the family has celebrated recently. Francisco underwent successful brain surgery towards the end of 2019, which has greatly improved his quality of life. Since then, he has had a great time spending time with his family and sharing his sense of humor. Of course, he’ll miss his sister when she moves away to college, and she’ll miss him just as much.

About Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

TSC is a rare, genetic disorder that is characterized by benign tumors that form throughout the body; however, they are most common in the brain, lungs, skin, heart, and kidneys. Symptoms can range in severity and between patients depending on where these tumors grow and how many there are. Possible effects include seizures, developmental delay, issues with communication and social interaction, facial lesions, eye abnormalities, behavioral issues, and problems with the lungs, heart, and/or kidneys.

Either the TSC1 or TSC2 gene is mutated in those with this condition. These genes are typically in charge of ensuring that cells do not divide and multiply too quickly. When mutated, cells can divide and reproduce out of control to form tumors. Both genes are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. While there is no cure, treatment can manage symptoms.

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