Monday, May 16, 2016

Nichole Servos - Life with Neurofibromatosis Type 2

FONTANA KS - Nichole Servos, 40,was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis (NF) at the age of eight (8). According to Servos, she had a few skin tumors that required medical attention. Before her diagnosis, her parents had never heard of NF. She says no other family members were known to have had NF, and thus their family doctor told them it was a  non-threatening/non-life changing disorder.
Servos tells the Gazette,
Nicole Servos
Photographer Kevin Surbaugh
My childhood years were lived as any other normal childhood, with NF never in the forefront of our minds. At the age of 16 that world drastically changed, recovering from a severe case of pneumonia I lost hearing in my left ear which never returned upon full recovery. After a battery of tests it was discovered that I had several brain tumors (acoustic neuromas). One of which had already claimed it's price and would need to be removed with another needing action to keep it from staking its own claim. By the age of 18, NF had created a new chapter in my life leaving me completely Deaf to sound and looking for ways to fit into both the hearing and Deaf worlds. Despite Despite what claims NF had taken I continued to live a leading and fulfilling life, living on my own attending college, as well as marring my high school sweetheart!
Servos said that for 13 years NF spared her and laid "dormant" in my life and then threw another curve-ball shortly after her 30th birthday. She said she began to have facial weakness on the left side, the cause, the brain tumor which had already been removed and staked its claim on her hearing had returned and claimed the left side of her face, with another waiting in the wings to claim the right side.  According to her, NF brought a rash of procedures and hospitalizations, six brain surgeries within a time span of one and half years that left her literally expressionless. However, NF didn't stop there. It's latest claim was her spine, with several tumors on and in her spinal column, which also needed extensive surgery and rehab that left her with a little hitch in her step.
In conclusion Servos said,
What claim NF has had on my face I've been fortunate enough and blessed to have been able to find the right doctors to bring my "smile" back. NF has claimed the sound from my life, put a hitch in my step, and has taken the smile from my face but will never take the smile from my heart as it looks it looks to the future in hopes that one day a cure can be found for me and others like me who live with NF.
Some people would say living with NF is a struggle. Sure there are days it may be hard but I've always thought of my life with NF as a journey. Never know what tomorrow will bring so live life to its fullest, I define me, who I am, what I can or can't do, not what NF limits me.

Note:  Why did we capitalize the word Deaf in our article above? There is a rule, but it is a rule in the Deaf Community, and most Hearing do not know about it. It is a rule that is not based on English grammar. It is an obscure nod to Deaf people.

Editor's Note:  Servos is currently the President of the NF Central Plains

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