Ten year old girl in high spirits after being diagnosed with rare brain tumor

Roxy Gunter, 10, loves her cats, making jewelry, and unicorns. That love of unicorns is keeping her in high spirits after being diagnosed with a rare brain tumor.

Posted: Dec 26, 2018 9:26 PM
Updated: Dec 26, 2018 10:12 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Roxy Gunter, 10, loves her cats, making jewelry, and unicorns. That love of unicorns is keeping her in high spirits after being diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. 

"It's just my unicorn horn growing because it's in the middle of my brain, or I could've absorbed my twin as my dad keeps saying," Roxy said. 

Roxy's mom, Jessie Longsworth, said the symptoms started with severe migraines. 

"We found out about a week ago that she has a brain tumor. She has had migraines for about three years and the pediatrician said she'd grow out of it," Longsworth said. 

But that wasn't the case. A new pediatrician gave Roxy an exam, and ordered an MRI.

Days later, the doctor came back with the news. 

"That next day she started having vomiting, headaches, odd things, so I took her to the emergency room at Parkview," Longsworth said. 

From there, Roxy went to Riley Hospital for Children and doctors said her tumor was a teratoma, a tumor that affects only about 20,000 people in the United States every year. 

Roxy's tumor is on her brain stem, and they won't be able to remove all of it. 

"It's kind of rare. It forms at birth. You don't know until later on in the child's life that they have it," her mom said. 

They don't know if the tumor is cancerous yet, and the family is stressed out about new and old medical bills after both Roxy and her mom were also diagnosed with Lyme Disease. 

The disease has also affected Longsworth's heart, so she'll have to leave Roxy at Riley for a short time while she sees a cardiologist. 

But they're staying thankful, especially since Roxy was able to come home for Christmas. 

"At least she had a normal Christmas, so I'm thankful for that," Longsworth said. 

Roxy said her biggest fears are getting her head shaved and getting the IV put in, but she has a stuffed fox, Foxy, that will be by her side the entire time. 

Roxy is set to go surgery on January eighth. After that, she'll know more about her condition. 

The family has looked into a Go Fund Me to pay medical bills, but they haven't set anything up yet. 

Article Comments

Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 71°
Angola
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Huntington
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Decatur
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 72°
Pop Up Storms Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events