Cancer: Patient Stories - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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Cancer: Patient Stories

Ghalia Shabib's Story

Age 21, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

RIC patient Ghalia ShabibDiagnosed at the age of two with neuroblastoma, Ghalia’s cancer metastasized and spread to several other organs. After enduring rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, the tumor remained and she was forced to undergo a complicated surgery to remove the malignancy.

The position of the tumor was problematic and the removal compromised her spine resulting in the onset of scoliosis. The disease severely limited her ability to move and became even more problematic as she grew older.


Mina Fuller's Story

A Life Back in Balance

Mina Fuller's Patient Story

Mina Fuller, 53, felt shattered when she discovered she had a brain tumor.

Fuller, a Chicago police officer, was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in 2006. As part of her cancer treatment, she underwent surgery that left her with a brain injury. Barely able to walk and speak, the surgery also affected her hearing and resulted in seizures and dizziness.


Meera Leister's Story

Age 4, Chicago, IL

RIC patient Meera LeisterMeera was like any other little 3-year-old girl. She loved cupcakes, the beach, dancing, and playing anything Disney with her family and friends. However, one day her parents noticed that she was having trouble with balance, climbing stairs, and walking in a straight line. She was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor next to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination. She had surgery to remove the tumor and started an intense course of chemotherapy immediately afterward. As a result of the cancer-fighting treatments, Meera suffered major gross motor deficits, speech and sight deficits.

“She basically couldn’t sit up on her own,” said Daniel Leister, Meera’s father. “Her balance was shot and she had a lot of weakness, especially on her right side.”