Since Alyssa Kovacic was first diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, the two-year-old Langley girl has undergone chemotherapy and so many Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans that her mother, Angela Lebolo Kovacic, has lost count.
“She has to be sedated [before an MRI],” Mom shared.
Less than a year ago, Alyssa developed pain in one eye.
Doctors discovered she had two rapidly growing brain tumors, one in her right optic nerve and another one in her hypothalamus (a part of the brain that has a vital role in controlling many bodily functions and behaviours).
Alyssa underwent chemotherapy, but it couldn’t save the vision in her eye.
Now, Alyssa is facing surgery that will remove her blind eye and will require her to be fitted for a prosthetic.
Doctors have warned Alyssa’s family that she could lose sight in her other eye, as well.
The operation has been scheduled for April 3.
“We’re dreading it,” Angela told the Langley Advance Times.
Because of the tumour pressing on her hypothalamus, Alyssa has developed Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder, and “sometimes gets upset” her mother explained.
She is usually in good spirits, but even a minor change can create “panic and fear” for Alyssa, Mom described.
Friends set up an online Gofundme campaign “Support Alyssa’s fight with NF1 neurofibromatosis” which has so far raised $8,577 towards a $30,000 goal.
It will help pay for the prosthetic eye, which will need to be replaced every three to five years, and other costs that are not covered by ordinary health insurance, such as income lost because Angela had to quit working full-time to look after Alyssa.
There is no cure, the online campaign notes.
It goes on to say that Alyssa “is a determined little girl that proves daily that she has the strength, resilience and power to overcome this barrier [but] her condition remains unpredictable.”