CORDELE, Ga. (WALB) - A Cordele woman is suffering from a tumor on her brain.
Angela Wilcox suffers from a Schwannoma.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a type of nerve tumor of the nerve sheath and it can occur anywhere in the body at any age. In this case, it’s on Angela’s brain.
Angela is looking to bring awareness to the situation she battles and let people know that living a normal life is possible.
"But I’m just looking to bring people together and let them know that they can also have a normal life too,” said Angela.
Angela has suffered from this brain tumor for years. It’s something that never leaves her mind.
She faces struggles daily, like headaches.
“I deal with the nausea and vomiting real bad,” Angela explained.
She has had chemotherapy and other treatments and the tumor has shrunk.
Angela said it’s not cancerous and any operation at this point would be too risky.
"Do I worry about it? No. I don’t because it’s out of my hands,” said Angela.
Angela said doctors do monitor the tumor and her health. However, the Cordele woman wants to bring awareness to the condition and she is doing so by holding everything from organized walks, bike rides and banquets.
She is even getting ready to publish a children’s book with a character named after the heavy burden weighing on her brain.
She named her tumor Buddy Love.
"As long as this tumor is in my head it has to have a name,” explained Angela.
Events in the near future have been canceled due to COVID-19, which is something else Angela recently battled and defeated.
Now, she lives to tell the tale about COVID-19 and brain health.
“I will always say that since I suffer with a brain tumor it will no longer go unnoticed," said Angela.
She said she has a huge support team. During her interview with WALB News 10, she was accompanied by her son who has helped her in the recovery process. Angela was also joined by Jessie Felton Jr., also known as “King Pin,” with the Black Dusters Motorcycle Club from Cordele.
The non-profit group is helping plan a ride for her and bringing awareness sometime in the future after the COVID-19 crisis has ended.
“To help her out,” said Felton.
They originally had a ride planned for the summer, but the pandemic led to them canceling the event.
Health leaders said brain health is something that always needs to be on our minds.
May is recognized as National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.
Leaders with the Alzheimer’s Association said they are doing their part to combat dementia and the disease during the COVID-19 crisis.
Back in March, the Alzheimer’s Association made all programs virtual. This ended all in-person sessions as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials said it has been well received by caregivers but the virus takes its toll on patients.
“For caregivers, they may explain to their loved one you know, 'We can’t leave home’ or ‘we can’t go somewhere that we would typically might would go.’ Well, the person may forget. They may not remember the explanation or why can’t we,” explained Rebekah Davis, the program director lead with the Georgia chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Some of the organization’s programs include online support groups for caregivers.
They said there are over 500,000 Georgians caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
June is recognized as Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month.