Maggie-Jo Roqueni

First post: Dec 29, 2017 Latest post: Jan 19, 2018
On December 1st we heard the worst seven words anyone can hear, “I think you should have a seat.” Our daughter Maggie-Jo Roqueni had spent months struggling to keep any food down.  After months of various medications and doctor’s appointments with no luck in figuring out what could be causing her daily vomiting we finally got in to see a gastroenterologist.  After a few minutes of speaking with us he immediately sent us to the Emergency Room for head CT scan because he feared the problem was not with her digestive system but rather something else.  After the scan, we discovered the gastroenterologist’s fears were verified and the emergency room’s doctor spoke those awful words “I think you should have a seat.”  Maggie-Jo was diagnosed with a 5-centimeter brain tumor sitting on her brain stem.  She was immediately admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Banner Diamond Children’s Hospital in Tucson, AZ as we all prepared for a lifesaving and highly dangerous surgery.


Everything happened so fast as various doctors representing the different teams involved with her surgery came in and explained how the procedures would go and what the plan was to remove the rare Ependymoma tumor, treat the cancer she was diagnosed with, and save her life.  This was a scary time because we knew what their plan was, but we knew anything could happen and derail this plan into a life threating situation.  The surgery went well, and this is when we saw our daughter’s true strength.  Maggie-Jo fought the sedation during the intubation period and afterwards pushed herself to start eating, walking, and talking.  Only six days removed from brain surgery and three days removed from the intubation she was released from the hospital.  This is when she earned the nickname “The Fighter.”


A small amount of the Ependymoma remains on her brain stem and she now will advance to the next round of her treatment, five doses of radiation therapy for the next six weeks.  Maggie-Jo the Fighter has proven her strength and shown her ability to face any challenge in front of her.  She will receive radiation treatment starting the 8th of January. 

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