Sarcoma Story: Hallie Anne Brown

Hallie Anne Brown

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Type of Sarcoma: Osteosarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: March 2012
Location: skull

Hallie was born November 16, 1996 to Kathryn and Todd Brown. Early in her life she showed precocious athleticism. By age 6 she was able to do a front handspring followed by a back flip. But soccer became her love and she was very good. In fact the symptoms of her illness began the day of the first ninth grade soccer practice in the spring of 2012. She was very direct, spoke to the truth as she saw it, but also goofy at times.

A good student, she had developed a new interest in photography, loving the picture of snow falling diagonally in front of a street light by her home. In fact one of her earliest passwords on the internet was “weatherfreak”. She took many photos of buildings when the geometry of the structure appealed to her. A trip to New York City for a second opinion was an occasion for many pictures of Times Square. She was also feisty and her temper showed at times, and she loved dance, particularly hip-hop.

Hallie Anne Brown

The osteosarcoma began in a small bone at the base of the skull, about as large as the end of your thumb. It is a very rare place for this cancer to start. Her course of treatment included many hospitalizations for treatments, and for care of complications. Placement of the port for chemo was followed by a collapsed lung. A tube had to be placed in her chest for that. A 25 pound weight loss (starting at 110 lbs) that followed her chemo required a feeding tube to be placed in her stomach through the front of her abdomen. In all, over a year, probably 20 hospital admissions, and that doesn’t count the many clinic visits for blood and platelet transfusions.

She lived for two months in Indiana in August and September with her Mom where she received proton beam irradiation to the base of the skull. 3 months later an end of treatment scan showed recurrence of the cancer, and she knew then that the cancer couldn’t be cured. Three months later, the family had a party at a grandparent’s house and more than 20 people were there. At the end of the party she stood up and gave gave each one a hug. It was her goodbye, and two days later she passed away, April 28, 2013. We remember her smile, and her special personality. Her soccer team had a cheer before their games last spring: “Hallie on three; One…two…three…HALLIE” . At her funeral the Southwest High School Chorus sang. It was beautiful and fitting. “Winter’s Song”.

In loving memory, Hallie’s grandparent’s John and Joan Seymour have established the RIS Hallie Anne Brown Fund to find cures for Osteosarcoma.