Sahara Aldridge undergoes surgery to have tumor removed

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sahara Aldridge's family hopes they might have finally beaten the brain-stem tumor that has ravaged her body for more than a year -- and that the tumor isn't what doctors originally thought it was -- after seeking treatment from a west coast neurosurgeon.

Sahara's parents, Shannon and Amy Aldridge of Cape Girardeau, weren't available for comment via cell phone Thursday, but Sahara's blog, www.saharaaldridge.com, has been giving those concerned about the 13-year-old's progress updates throughout the week.

The blog is administered by Aldridge family friend Pamela Yaeger of Long Island, N.Y., who stays in contact with the family on a regular basis. Yaeger updated the blog Wednesday, reporting Sahara had made it out of surgery to remove the tumor at an unidentified west coast facility.

"She did beautifully -- her blood pressure was steady throughout, and although she's still on a ventilator, her lungs are strong and healthy," Yaeger wrote on a blog posted at 6:14 p.m. Wednesday.

Aldridge was diagnosed last summer with a glioblastoma tumor on her brain stem -- a rapidly growing, dangerous form of cancer. Doctors originally told the family the tumor was inoperable, but the Aldridges sought out a neurosurgeon with a different opinion -- that the tumor, or most of it, could be removed with surgery.

"After searching for what seemed like an eternity, we finally found the surgeon we've been looking for ... the one who is going to take that evil tumor out of our sweet girl's head," Sahara's mother Amy typed in a message to blog readers Sunday.

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