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“ Never Give Up because you never know what will happen in life...just like growing taller or gaining stronger eyesight. ”

- Tala

Never Give Up

Tala was only six years old when she was diagnosed with Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma Brain Tumor. Her parents knew something was wrong when Tala started having headaches and eye problems. Tala eventually lost complete control of her eye, and her brain started to swell, causing a need for the doctors to perform emergency surgery. After she recovered from surgery at her local Children's Hospital, Tala underwent radiation treatment to destroy the tumor at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. One year after she finished her radiation treatment, she went on her wish trip to Florida Theme Parks. Tala’s favorite part of the trip was when she got to meet Popeye and Olive Oyl at Universal. Tala had an awesome time with her family in Orlando!

Tala has now been in remission for 9 years, and has not let that time go to waste. She is now 20 years old and attends Loyola University New Orleans with a double major in Biology Pre­-Med and Computer Information Systems. Tala’s dream is to work at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a Pediatric Neuro­-Oncologist. She wants to be able to help kids who had cancer like her and share her motto, “Never Give Up,” with them.

Tala’s greatest accomplishment in life was defeating cancer. She has repeatedly accomplished things she was told she would never do. Tala is taller than the height that her doctors told her she would never reach. Although she used to be legally blind in her left eye, her eye has gotten stronger and she has regained some of her sight. In the words of Tala, “Never Give Up,” because you never know what will happen in life...just like growing taller or gaining stronger eyesight.

  • Tala and Olive Oyl pose for the camera at Universal Studios

  • Tala and her sister smile with their painted faces at the happiest place on earth!

  • Anna and Tala enjoying a school fair in 2009

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