Massachusetts (Somerset)

CONTACT: Ken and Michelle Oehmen
LOCATION: Somerset, MA 02726
EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: 774-644-3096

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Selina Strong

Selina was a sweet, sassy girl who loved softball, Girl Scouts, arts and crafts, musical theatre, marching band, playing her cello and helping out at her church as an altar server and in the faith formation program.  Selina made friends easily and was in fifth grade.  Her smile and laughter could brighten any room.  Selina had dreamed of being a scientist or art teacher someday.  Her strength and grace in the face of this illness was truly an inspiration. She is greatly missed by all who were blessed to know her.  

On Feb. 21st, our lives were forever changed. Just the night before we had gone snow tubing and had a lot of laughs as a family. Selina, our beautiful 9 year daughter (she'll be 10 on 4/25), had been complaining about headaches for about 6 weeks, we had taken her to the pediatrician and some blood tests were done and an appointment with the eye doctor was made. Blood tests were all negative and eye doctors showed an astigmatism. Glasses ordered but headaches continued. Pediatrician decided time to consult a neurologist. Before that could happen, we noticed Selina's gait was off. Called pediatrician and he said take her Hasbro. A CT scan was performed and it showed a brain tumor in the brain stem. They told us they couldn't operate because the tumor tissue and brain stem tissue were intertwined. However, there was an area to do a biopsy. She was admitted to the PICU to be monitored to help bring down swelling and get her ready.

On Monday, Feb. 26th, the biopsy was done. On Wed. Feb. 28th, we were told our daughter has DIPG. The worse cancer that exists. On Mar. 2, we were allowed to bring her home. She was to get PT, OT and speech therapy outpatient and start radiation the following week after we discussed her being part of a study in Boston. We had a good weekend at home with friends and family. On Monday, Mar. 5th while in the waiting room at PT, she started to vomit and seize. 911 was called and we were rushed back to Hasbro. She was intubated and rushed into imaging. Selina's tumor had hemorrhaged. She had slipped into a coma like state with only some eye movement and hand squeezing. The swelling had increased and an EVD was put in her brain to drain fluid and release some pressure. On Mar. 8th, she started radiation. By Fri. Mar. 9th, we had lost her squeezing our hands and synced eye movements. We know she can hear as she has ways of reacting like heart rate and some facial expressions. On Mar. 20th, swelling had gone down and they removed the EVD. On Mar. 23rd, an MRI showed the body was reabsorbing the hemorrhage and the tumor growth was stunted and possibly shrank. On Mar. 24th, her vent was removed and she did awesome breathing on her own. On Tues. Mar. 27th, we were moved to the regular floor from PICU, where we remained until May 8th. On May 8th, we took Selina home. She has had some progress in her ability to move her head to answer yes or no questions, one of her hands and can swallow some soft foods like pudding or apple sauce. 

On July 19th, we got the unexpected and upsetting news that Selina's tumor had started growing again.  We tried to do as many things together as possible like Ed Sheeran concert, the zoo, aquarium. On October 15, 2018, our beautiful Selina left us here on earth. Her biopsy was donated to DIPG research and we working at keeping her legacy alive by helping to find a cure. Selina is the most vibrant, sassy, beautiful, and caring angel. Run and Play our little "beana" We miss you everyday!!!