Courageous Spirit: Poetry and Family Inspire Jameka Leonard to Keep Fighting a Rare Brain Tumor

Friday, June 27, 2014 10:36 AM

When I write, it helps me express how I feel, and it’s a way of reaching out to people and letting them know my story,” said Jameka Leonard, a 27-year-old mother and poet who was first diagnosed with a rare brain stem glioma in 2009. After an initial consultation at the Mayo Clinic, Jameka was referred to Egon Doppenberg, MD, Neurosurgeon, and Nina Martinez, MD, Neuro-Oncologist, at NorthShore for expert, collaborative care closer to home.

After completing both surgery and radiation at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center, Jameka is now stable and on a maintenance routine supervised by Dr. Martinez. She channels her positive energy not only into her fight against cancer but also into her writing, recently publishing a book of poetry entitled Internal Combat: The Battle Within.

Watch the video for her full NorthShore Patient story and read an excerpt of her poetry here: 

“Dear Cancer, 

My name is Jameka. I don’t know if you remember me, but we were first introduced to one another in 2009 … Not to be rude or anything, but I am tired of you and I would like for us to part ways. You came into my life unwanted, and you have consistently been here … I am not trying to continue to be pulled into your negative elements any longer.” 

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