The migraines, seizures and dizziness Isabel Cucalon thought were symptoms of stress turned out to be something much worse: A brain tumor.
The Ridgefield Park mom has had three surgeries this year to correct damage endured during the birth of her second child with fiancé Nelson Roman, since early 2021.
Meanwhile, Roman injured his shoulder while on duty as a police officer in North Bergen.
So when doctors told Cucalon that what she was experiencing was simply from stress, she believed it.
But last month, when she was referred to a neurologist and sent in for an MRI, her worst fears were confirmed.
Cucalon is recovering from emergency surgery to remove as much of the 3.6 centimeter tumor as possible. Test results are pending.
More than $15,000 had been raised for Cucalon and Roman on a GoFundMe as of July 27.
Campaign founder Robert Garcia described the family's situation as "devastating."
Isabel’s diagnosis has impacted her family and upended normal daily life," he writes.
"Due to her other complications before this diagnosis, she hasn’t been able to work for a year.
"Despite Isabel having medical insurance, costs will only be partially covered for her medical care during this time.
"Additionally, there are a lot of out-of-pocket costs & co-payments associated with her ongoing treatment and the treatment following surgery. The next plan after the tumor removal, pending pathology results, will be chemotherapy and radiation."
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