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"We held Bella and fed her and fell in love with her...and we wanted her," said Tamera, who learned the 21-month old had a medical condition unfamiliar to the Wongs. They had no experience with or knowledge of her condition - spina bifida, a disease that affects the spine and spinal cord.
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Karen K. - Climbing Again
Kate Kramer loves to climb mountains. Her biggest mountain, however, wasn't the kind made of earth and rocks. It was in her brain.
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Marilyn - Back on the Saddle after Scoliosis Surgery
Thirty years ago Marilyn consulted with a world -renowned spine surgeon at UCSF regarding her scoliosis - the 45 degree curve in her spine was causing her pain and threatened to impact her active way of life.
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Fred - Local Artist Paints Again After Gamma Knife Radiosurgery
A self-proclaimed life-long student of art, 79-year-old painter Fred Ekman has travelled the world painting and teaching his craft to others. The artist's iconic watercolors depict Northern California landscapes, Spanish missions, French architecture, and South Pacific seascapes. Now retired, he lives with his wife of 58 years in Lincoln Hills Sun City and enjoys teaching classes to aspiring painters.
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Evan - Seizure-Free Thanks to Laser Surgery
When Evan was between three and six months old his mother Stacy noticed that Evan wasn't hitting developmental milestones around the same time as other like-aged babies.
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Tim - One Week After Spine Surgery, Teacher Returns to Classroom
When a nagging back problem suddenly grew drastically worse last year, Tim’s get-up-and-go almost got up and went. He began feeling numbness in his right leg and instability in his lower back.
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Melissa - Achieving Sleep at Last with the iRest Insomnia Program
As a regional lead for a global professional services firm, being productive and assertive is something that Melissa had learned to do well over the years, even though her body wasn’t getting the rest it needed.
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Gillian - Gardening Again
The constant kneeling and bending over the flower beds began to take its toll. Gillian experienced severe back pain due to the disintegration of three lumbar discs in her spine. Suffering from bone on bone Gillian turned to pain management specialist Peter Bravos, M.D.
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Thomas - Back to Life and Sports After Neurosurgery
For Missy and her 13-year-old son, Thomas, it was just another busy Saturday. But a phone call on their way home from Thomas’ soccer game dramatically changed their lives. Thomas had been experiencing months of severe dizziness and headaches, and the week prior he had gone to see his pediatrician, Irene Chen, M.D., who had the foresight to schedule a CT scan. The phone call was from a doctor at Sutter Roseville’s Emergency Department to let them know Thomas’ scan showed a tumor in his cerebellum and they needed to head to Sutter Children’s Center, Sacramento where a team would be waiting for them.
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Brad - A Long Road Home
Brad Barber lay motionless in the Intensive Care Unit at Sutter Roseville Medical Center after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke. Neurosurgeon Kavian Shahi, M.D., Sutter Neuroscience Institute, treated Brad, who was intubated and closely monitored. The outcome looked grim. Brad's wife, Lynda had to tell her grown sons Greg and Spencer, their dad might not make it.
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Jo Ann - From a Patient to a Fan
Not many women take a month-long trip through Northern California and Oregon on the back of a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. Fewer still do it in their 70s. And Jo Ann may be the only one who has done it following spinal fusion surgery, two hip-replacement surgeries on both hips, and while dealing with a chronic blood disorder. But Jo Ann is not your typical 71-year-old woman. She’s a feisty, independent woman who clearly enjoys and embraces life.
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John B - Putting thirty years of sleepless nights behind him
John hadn’t experienced a good night’s sleep since childhood, so he assumed sleepless nights and exhausted day were normal. An overnight test at the Sutter Sleep Disorder Clinic exposed severe sleep apnea, but it also revealed a simple cure. Today John wears a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask at night and wakes every morning with the energy a busy father of three needs.
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Brandon - Back To Being a Kid Again
Like any typical 9-year-old boy, Brandon enjoys riding his bike and swimming. But Brandon’s medical history is anything but typical. At 2 years old, he started having seizures and was diagnosed with a brain tumor in his frontal lobe.
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Luke - Return to Play Safely
Ten-year-old Luke was geared up with his cleats and helmet and ready to play lacrosse in his backyard. Running to make a catch, Luke went from the grass to the driveway and his feet flew out from underneath him. The back of Luke’s head hit the concrete.
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Ann - Life after Stroke
Ann and her husband were ecstatic; they had just brought their third daughter home from the hospital after a smooth delivery and were beginning to introduce her to the family. They had no idea that their lives were about to dramatically change.
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Linda - Achieving Restful Sleep
Linda received a healthy amount of sleep, sometimes up to 12 hours per night. But during the day, she often felt sluggish and always wanting to nap. "My energy level was minimal at best," said Linda. "I hated getting up in the morning and it was hard to get through the day."
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Sam - Riding Bulls after Spine Surgery
When Sam woke up with no feeling in his right arm and hand three years ago, he was perplexed. "Nothing hurt. I was just numb," he says. Although Sam leads an athletic lifestyle, he didn’t recall a particular injury that could have caused such an ailment.
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Aiden - Autism Specialist offers Hope to Family
To Danyelle, Dr. Chez is a rock star. And she doesn’t say that lightly. At age 3 and a half, her son Aiden was diagnosed with autism. At that time they lived out of the state and, although they saw the leading autism experts in the area, the extent of the advice was to modify his diet and do what they could to give their son the best life possible.
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Taylor - Neurosurgery to Halt Tumor
Kids grow fast. But what is too fast? Sara noticed 7-year-old daughter Taylor was growing at a rapid rate. So fast that she would grow out of clothes overnight and go through three shoe sizes in two months. Aware that something wasn't right, Sara took Taylor to the pediatrician.
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Bronte - A Family Dedicated to Epilepsy Research
When Bronte was three months old she had her first seizure; that was nearly 16 years ago. Over the first few years of her life she had almost every kind of seizure possible and sometimes had up to 10 grand mal seizures per day. She saw specialist after specialist and tried many different medications.
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Ken - Team Approach
Despite being diagnosed with two aneurysms and having brain surgery - twice - Ken Kaestner considers himself blessed. Two years ago Ken started experiencing headaches, numbness and tingling. Worried that he might be experiencing a neurological condition, Ken made an appointment.
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Rael - Back on the Slopes
Rael was putting a piece of stone on a high shelf when she felt a twinge in her neck. An active 40-something woman who loved to ski, Rael was used to strained muscles and didn’t think much about the soreness in her neck that evening.
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Victor - Spine Surgery and a New Perspective on Life
“I was just a normal, healthy guy with a regular life,” said 35-year old Victor, a software consultant for Deloitte. “And then everything changed.” In June 2008, Victor began having horrible back pain. “I’ve had some back pain before, but it wasn’t anything like this,” he said. “I couldn’t stand or sit up, I had no idea what was happening.
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Ophelia - Back to Life Without Pain
At age 67, Ophelia, PhD., had a pretty active mind and life. “Then wham,” says Ophelia, “everything changed.” Ophelia was suddenly hit with excruciating pain that would spontaneously flare in different parts of her face. And because the excruciating pain would come unannounced, Ophelia was nervous to drive or go out alone.
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Anthony - Brave 5-Year-Old & Gamma Knife
Tammy finished her shift as a cashier at the Goodwill store on Arden Way, returned to her apartment and found her son Anthony complaining. "Ahh, my head hurts," he whined. A warm shower and a snack, she thought, would help her 5-year-old feel better. But the freckly faced redhead got worse. He lay on the loveseat screaming, his mouth twisted to one side, his little limbs shaking, his eyes rolling up and back.
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Khayla - Collaboration Changes Lives
Khayla was born in the Philippines with a rare kyphoscoliosis condition; a congenital disability called Spondylocarpotarsal syndrome, where her vertebrae were fused together preventing her spine, joints and bones from developing properly. Surgery there resulted in leg paralysis and a progressive curvature of the spine.
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Caitlin - Trading Scoliosis and Braces for Fashion and Heels
Caitlin, like most teens, has a lot going on with school, friends, cheerleading and staying on top of the latest in fashion. But over the last few years she has also been confronted with scoliosis, wearing braces and the idea of surgery.
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