Teniyah Foley

Twelve-year-old Teniyah Foley has a wonderful, creative imagination. She likes to sit in her room and imagine herself on different planets. Her intergalactic travels let her go anywhere she wants; allowing her a chance to make art and write stories. But, when Teniyah was 8, she began to get sick and was often exhausted, with bad headaches and vomiting.

Teniyah’s grandmother Sylvia brought her to the pediatrician again and again, where she was diagnosed with illnesses ranging from migraine headaches to the flu. After receiving the last unsatisfactory diagnosis, Sylvia brought Teniyah to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. When she was given a computed tomography (CT) scan, it was clear—Teniyah had a brain tumor.

Her physician sent her to the Children’s Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Program. At Children’s, neurosurgeons diagnosed Teniyah with the most common kind of malignant brain tumor—medulloblastoma.

Sylvia said about arriving at Children’s, “It was a godsend…a loving atmosphere I’ll never forget.” Teniyah received six weeks of craniospinal radiation five days a week. After her radiation treatments, she underwent a successful surgery to resect the posterior fossa mass.

She received a special therapy and radiation plan that attempted to reduce the toxic late effects of treatment on memory, learning and growth for children with malignant, treatment-responsive tumors. Physicians hope this modified treatment will allow her imagination to remain as vivid as the day she came to Children’s. 

Today, Teniyah is doing very well at home without evidence of tumor recurrence. She continues to put the beautiful visions she sees onto paper—with a fresh outlook from around the galaxy.