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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
John Hoffman

I would like to nominate Jenni Pennington, a truly beautiful young woman, for your “Keeping the Faith Award”. I first met Jenni four years ago when she first attended a Grey Matters Brain Tumor Support Group monthly meeting. At that time Jenni seemed scared, confused and alone. As time progressed we found that in the summer of 2008, just before her 19th birthday, Jenni was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her fear was certainly understandable for anyone, let alone a young woman who was ready to get out of high school to enjoy all the things a young person her age should be experiencing. Instead she was faced with the battle of and for her life. In Jenni’s own words she said: “(at that time) … I was having headaches and throwing up so my doctor sent me to get a CAT scan. Since then a slew of MRIs and various treatments have ensued: a long needle bio[psy] to find out it was cancer, radiation, steroids and oral chemo drug. Ultimately none of these treatments where able to keep my tumor from continuing to grow. A year and a half ago [Spring, 2015] I was getting prepped and ready for brain surgery (prior to this my tumor was deemed inoperable, because of where it was located). Even though they would still not be able to get the whole tumor out, something needed to be done. At the last minute I was able to get into a trial at the hospital. No one expected this to work for me, but somehow it has. I am still in that trial and am doing better than I have been doing in years. I don’t know what my future holds, but I am hopeful”. Four years after I first met Jenni and nine years after her malignant brain tumor diagnosis, I can happily say that Jenni is absolutely a new woman. She is now a vibrant, happy, self-confident woman. She is gainfully employed, lives on her own with her sister and has an extremely busy social life. Everyone, at Grey Matters, but especially me, is just thrilled to see this NEW Jenni and thrilled to nominate her for this recognition.