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Montanah’s brave battle against cancer


Brave girl: a recent photo of Montanah Dubignon after she admirably tolerated another treatment to remove her brain tumour.

FOUR AND A HALF year old Montanah Dubignon is courageously fighting against a rare and incurable brain cancer.

The former Korumburra girl was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour on July 16, 2018 and has since undergone two surgeries – her latest one 16 hours long – in an attempt to remove the cancer. 

Montanah’s mother, Sarah Dubignon, said the last surgery went well. The entire tumour was successfully removed, however the perimeter, which has roots, was unable to be detached.

“That’s where our problem lies. The cancer is microscopic which will grow; we just don’t know when,” Mrs Dubignon said.

The surgery also resulted in over a quarter of Montanah’s brain being removed.

“She has memory deficits and has lost peripheral vision in her right eye,” Mrs Dubignon said.

“When she gets older – if she gets older – there will be more deficits.

“At the moment she’s okay. She is four to five weeks past her latest chemotherapy.”

Initially doctors informed Sarah and her husband, Jarrod, if they decided not to pursue treatment they would have around three months left with Montanah. If they did take up treatment, they may have a year.

The latest scan results, released on January 30, showed no new growth. Mrs Dubignon was relieved with the news, but said it gives them a false sense of security.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. The recent scans are tainted by the fact the tumour will grow again, “she said.

“It’s bittersweet. We are just buying time; there is no cure.”

Doctors are now saying Montanah has another two to three years but when the tumour grows back, there will be nothing they can do for her.

“Montanah has a glioblastoma multiforme. The DNA mutation that drives the tumour growth is incredibly rare and aggressive. She is the only patient with this tumour that the Royal Children’s Hospital has or knows of at the moment,” Mrs Dubignon said.

The family relocated from Korumburra to Beaufort just four weeks before Montanah’s diagnosis. The bubbly four year old started at Elizabeth Watkin Kindergarten in Beaufort recently and was thrilled to be going. Mrs Dubignon said they are just trying to make it as normal as it can be for her, given the situation. 

A fundraising market at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Leongatha last August raised more than $10,000 to support Montanah’s treatment. Mrs Dubignon said the community has been incredible, not only with financial support but with emotional support as well.

The family is now considering a drug trial but said expenses were substantial. In order to raise funds, a ‘gofundme’ campaign has been initiated. If you would like to help this little girl’s fight against brain cancer, please visit this website to donate: www.gofundme.com/montanahs-brain-cancer-fight 

Children’s cancer research funding is currently exceptionally low, making up only around one percent of all cancer research funding. Friday, February 15 is Childhood Cancer Awareness Day.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27475

Posted by on Feb 12 2019. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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