When Marichu Rosales Brun, 17, began experiencing numbness in her upper right thigh almost two years ago, the teenager knew something was wrong. After visits to doctors near in her home of Colima, Mexico, the family learned Marichu had a thoracic spinal mass that threatened her mobility. In August 2016, the family connected with Mayo Clinic's Office of International Services. The family would travel to Jacksonville, Florida to see neurosurgeons Clarence Watridge, M.D., and Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, M.D. The surgeons confirmed the lesion was compressing Marichu's spinal cord from approximately T10-T12.
On Sept. 1, 2016, Dr. Watridge and Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa performed a T9-T11 laminoplasty and with ultrasound guidance, detected and removed the tumor. The final diagnosis was a low grade astrocytoma.
Despite not even being able to lift a spoon after surgery, Marichu underwent months of grueling physical therapy and rehabilitation and returned to Mexico able to walk, talk and be independent, just in time for the New Year.
In June 2017, Marichu realized one of her dreams when she joined Dr. Quinones-Hinojosa on a mission trip to the Hospital Civil de Guadalajara in Mexico through his non-profit foundation, Mission: BRAIN.
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