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February 28, 2023

Ashley’s Brain Tumor Journey: The Power of Personalized Care

by Brianna Rauchman

Read the inspiring story of Ashley, who faced a brain cancer diagnosis after a sudden seizure. Learn how her customized treatment plan at Pacific Neuroscience Institute® helped manage the brain tumor and recover her health.

The Diagnosis That Changed Everything 

Ashley thrived in her fast-paced lifestyle. Despite juggling grad school and the responsibilities of a young family, she always made time for healthy eating and exercise. As she ambitiously pursued her dreams, she felt, and appeared, unstoppable.  

Ashley and her husband prior to her diagnosis

On New Year’s Eve in 2017, Ashley had a seizure. Her eyes fluttered open to the sight of a stranger’s face and she heard the sound of the wailing ambulance siren. Then everything went dark and Ashley remained unconscious until she arrived at the emergency room. Medical personnel rushed her into imaging where the MRI revealed the presence of a brain tumor called a glioma.  

What Are Gliomas? 

Gliomas are a type of brain tumor that develop in the brain or spinal cord. They originate in the glial cells that encapsulate neurons in the brain. When these tumors are malignant, they can rapidly spread within the brain and to nearby tissues. Although there are various types of gliomas, including both benign and malignant forms, they often cause symptoms such as: 

  • Headache 
  • Nausea or vomiting  
  • Confusion or memory loss 
  • Vision problems 
  • Personality changes 
  • Speech difficulties 
  • Seizures  
Dr. Wagle examining Ashley at Pacific Neuroscience Institute

Ashley’s Road to Recovery at PNI  

The tumor pressed against vital structures in Ashley’s brain, resulting in sudden bursts of electrical activity (seizures). After her cancer diagnosis, Ashley conducted thorough research on her treatment options. Ultimately, she landed in the expert care of neuro-oncologist, Dr. Naveed Wagle at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute‘s South Bay clinic located in Torrance, California.

In order to treat the fast-growing tumor, Dr. Wagle customized a long term treatment plan, which has included surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trial options. Dr. Wagle explored every possible method to restore Ashley’s health.

Ashley’s journey was a combination of all of the factors that we bring together at PNI.

Dr. Wagle 

Following her initial diagnosis, Ashley required monthly MRIs to monitor her tumor. Due to the success of her treatment at PNI, she now returns for monitoring every three months. She benefits from the convenience of PNI’s on-site scanning and treatment services to expedite her care. 

Looking Forward to the Future  

Throughout her journey, Ashley maintained her positive outlook and tenacious spirit. During the four-years that she has been living with her diagnosis, Ashley is grateful for every precious moment spent with her devoted husband and children. 

It’s been long, but I’m very thankful that I’ve come through, and I’m almost back where I was. These people (at PNI) are awesome. I really am blessed to be here.


Click here to watch Ashley’s inspiring story.  

For more information about the Pacific Brain Tumor Center:

PNI – South Bay: 424-212-5361
PNI – Santa Monica: 310-582-7450
PNI – Burbank: 818-847-6049

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About the Author

Brianna Rauchman

Brianna Rauchman, BA, is the Communications Coordinator for the Lifestyle Program, where she helps develop outreach strategies to connect with an expanding audience. Her responsibilities include providing launch support, developing content, assisting with collateral design, and planning social media strategies.

Last updated: May 20th, 2023