Like a lot of kids, you can find Chezaray Martinez on the basketball court.
“I play it with my friends on the team, and it’s just a really fun sport,” 12-Year-Old Chezaray Martinez said.
But a startling discovery a few years ago could have eventually put Chezaray’s passion on the sidelines, a brain tumor.
“That would have been our last guess. Yeah, little bit of a surprise there,” Martinez said.
Chezaray found out about the brain tumor when she was 10 years old. She was at horse camp and she fell off of a horse.
She soon had a CAT scan which revealed the tumor. It was removed right away, but eventually, it came back. This past September, the tumor was removed again.
Sanford Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Eric Trumble performed the second operation.
“There’s a 20 percent chance the tumor is going to come back this time as well and so we follow them with serial MRIs,” Trumble said.
But there is something to cheer about here. Her latest checkup showed no sign of the tumor.
“The longer she goes without any evidence of recurrence the less likelihood that it’s going to come back,” Trumble said.
That’s a victory.
“I have seven kids of my own. It’s the most gratifying thing we can do. You can’t beat saving a patient’s life,” Trumble said.
Dr. Trumble said that without surgery, Chezaray would have been killed by the tumor, but you wouldn’t know that by talking to her.
She makes bouncing back look easy.
“I can just be myself and play my sports and not have to worry about anything,” Martinez said.
Doctor Trumble is the only pediatric neurosurgeon in South Dakota certified by the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery, according to the board’s website.