Bands for Bishop Music Festival to benefit Bishop Mikaelian will be April 27, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., at Charlie Daniels Park in Mt. Juliet.
In March of 2009, Bishop was diagnosed with a 2 cm tumor on her brain stem. This is the part of the brain that controls all of your vital organs. After enduring 9 hours of brain surgery, it was determined that the tumor was “inoperable” and only a biopsy could be performed. Bishop has Ganglioglioma: a rare cancerous tumor arising from ganglia-type cells, which are groups of nerve cells. Due to its location, it is extremely dangerous.
Bishop received 30 max doses of radiation treatments which were not able to reduce the tumor. The tumor grew to 3 cm; the size of a kidney bean shaped “C” Battery. Hydrocephalus (water in the brain) also set in after radiation. In November 2009, a permanent shunt was placed in her head to drain these fluids into her stomach. She endured 15 months of chemotherapy. Originally scheduled for 12 months, but multiple hospital admissions for chronic pneumonia extended the length of her chemo plan. While on chemotherapy, it seemed to have stunted the growth, but did not shrink the tumor. Bishop, has been in and out of the hospital countless times as a direct result of this tumor. In February of 2010, she spent 4 weeks in ICU. She was in a medically induced coma for 8 days and on life support. It was then doctors had to perform a tracheotomy. Her throat muscles had gotten so weak, that she instantly aspirates causing severe life threatening pneumonia.
Bishop is now 13 years old. She is in middle school part time with part-time/full-time homebound services. Bishop is currently trach-free after 2 years, but still has reoccurring chronic pneumonia. She has been hospitalized with pneumonia alone over 30 times in less than 3 ½ years. Pneumonia has caused permanent scarring in her lungs.
Bishop sees a speech therapist that is working to strengthen her throat muscles in order to swallow again. Her left vocal cord is paralyzed and has surgery semi-annually to plump her cords in order to speak. She is unable to eat or drink by mouth and is being fed nutrients and liquids through a g-tube in her stomach. She also sees a physical therapist and an occupational therapist. Bishop’s motor skills are weak and she has neuropathy. She suffers from short-term memory loss and has Grand Mal seizures.
Even under these insurmountable conditions, Bishop continues to fight, and fight hard! She makes progress every day with her physical, occupational, and speech therapies. She is now able to move around on her own thanks to her will to live and the wonderful support of her therapists.
You can follow her journey at: www.caringbridge.org/visit/bishopmikaelian
In addition to this incredible challenge, Bishop’s mother Allison, is a single parent and also raises a wonderful son who is Autistic. Medical bills are never ending and logistics of getting the kids around to school, various appointments and other things we otherwise take for granted is an enormous challenge most of could probably not bear. Our extended Mount Juliet family continues to try and help this family in any way we can.