AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Doctors are caring for an Aurora woman with an extremely rare form of brain cancer. Sherry Johle’s disease is so rare that only 28 people in the world are reported to have the diagnosis.
Her condition went from normal to scary in a matter of months. She was admitted to The Medical Center of Aurora the week before last.
Staples in her scalp tell of the biopsy that Sherry, 59, underwent this week. It confirmed cancer as the cause of her frightening symptoms.
Leading up to her diagnosis, pounding headaches paired with confusion and hallucinations worried the babysitter’s husband, Vernon.
“She was in a store and she thought the kids were with her… and the parents go, ‘What are you talking about? The kids are in bed.’ It was all a hallucination,” Vernon told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.
With the help of an MRI, doctors discovered that Sherry had an inoperable, three-inch brain tumor from anaplastic large cell lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes.
The illness that came on suddenly has been just as hard on Vernon.
“Probably some of the hardest things to overcome with her is when I turn into a third party,” Vernon said. “She didn’t recognize me sitting there. She was telling me what Vernon did.”
Sherry’s doctors have been in touch with specialists across the country to figure out how to help.
“This type of lymphoma can be very aggressive. So if not treated, I think she will have maybe three to four months to live,” said Sujatha Nallapareddy, the medical oncologist who was treating Sherry over the weekend.
The couple, however, is holding out hope for her survival.
“A lot of prayers,” Sherry said.
Her prognosis is unknown and she will start chemotherapy soon.
Her family has put together an online fundraiser at GoFundMe to help with medical costs and research.