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'Salute to Our Heroes' - Virtual Drawdown Survivor Spotlight: Ladarius Washington

"Everyone has expectations for their future such as becoming a doctor, lawyer, athlete, etc. My future involved technology as I wanted to become a graphic designer. I was very good at it in high school classes. My future was bright for me as my education level went up. Little did I know that Christmas Break of my junior year would put not only my future, but my health, on the line.

After school was out, my mom noticed that something was a little off with me. A few days later I went to Louisiana to spend Christmas Break with my grandparents. When I got there, I was having bad headaches. My grandma called my mother, and they decided that if I didn’t feel better the next day, they would take me to a doctor. My mom and dad picked me up and took me to a doctor in Monroe, then to a clinic in Clinton, but both were unsuccessful in finding my problem.

My mom then took me to a doctor in Flowood who found a brain tumor. We immediately went to St. Dominic’s where I had surgery. The doctors told my parents that they were only able to remove part of the tumor without causing permanent damage or even death. After surgery, I had some long-term side effects including balance issues, weakness on my right side, memory loss and double vision. After the initial rehab at St. Dominic Hospital, I went to Methodist Rehabilitation Center where I spent three more months rebuilding my strength and working on my speech. Miraculously, I was able to return home but still had to go through chemotherapy and radiation. I also attended Quest, which is an out-patient rehab program. A few months later I returned to high school, graduated and attended Hinds Community College in Raymond.

After I got out of the hospital, I learned that while I was in St. Dominic’s, my family saw a sign for a brain injury support group hosted by the Brain Injury Association of MS and attended their first meeting. I was nervous to go to my first meeting, but the support group welcomed me with open arms! I feel very blessed to have found the #BIAMS and other people who have been through the same or similar experiences. They are the reason I have discovered what I was meant to do which is to become a motivational speaker. I am now 30 years old and able to love myself every day. I thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for allowing me to live and for blessing me with opportunities to experience life in so many ways!"

We exist to help Ladarius Washington and so many other survivors. Please consider purchasing a ticket for our 2020 Salute to Our Heroes Virtual Drawdown on December 28 for the chance to win $5,000 and to help us sustain our mission!


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