When Danion was just three years old, he was taken to NewYork-Presbyterian in critical condition with complications stemming from a non-malignant and slow-growing, but very large brain tumor. He was unresponsive and on a ventilator. Doctors initially told Danion’s mother that there was no way to save him. But his mother pushed on and came to NewYork-Presbyterian, where they agreed to accept the case. His surgeon, Dr. Mark Souweidane says, “It was one of the largest tumors I’ve ever seen.” He conducted additional tests and found that Danion’s condition was probably being aggravated by an infection related to the previous surgery, rather than by the tumor itself. After doctors drained the excess fluid from Danion’s brain and administered an intensive course of antibiotics, Danion improved dramatically. Convinced that tumor removal was a viable option, Dr. Souweidane performed a daylong surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Danion went from not being able to see, walk or talk to eventually performing at the Apollo Theater to an audience of 1,500 people. His medical team was there to cheer him on. But the tumor continued to grow and over the next few years, Danion underwent four more brain tumor surgeries and 10 procedures related to fluid-draining shunts in his head. Several months after making the video you see here, Danion succumbed to his condition and sadly, he passed. His mother says, “If it wasn’t for Dr. Souweidane, the four years that I had with Danion would not have been possible, and I’m forever thankful for that.” At NewYork-Presbyterian, we are determined to find new ways to help children like Danion and their families.

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