Last November, Alexandra Rudd was given up to two months to live by her doctor, as her stage 4 glioblastoma brain cancer continued to progress.
But the 28-year-old Rankin Inlet woman is still holding on, despite being bedridden and losing her mobility.
“I’m feeling OK,” she said. “It’s up and down and in the middle. Could be better. I wish I could be at home.”
Rudd is staying in the hospital full-time now, as it’s the best place for her to get the care she needs. She has been thankful for the Rankin Inlet Fire Department taking her out a couple of times to get some fresh air.
“It was an amazing experience to be able to leave the hospital bed and feel the cold, brisk air on my skin and in my lungs,” said Rudd. “It’s something I haven’t felt since November. It’s the simple things that make my life happy and give me a smile.”
Now her attention is turned to making sure others don’t have to go through what she has. To that end, she’s been promoting donations to the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.
As part of Team Grey Wolf, she’s raising money for the virtual walk this year, June 17 to 19.
“This year, we hope to raise $7,000,” said Rudd, though she raised more than $12,500 in 2021.
She’s pursuing that goal through donations, auctions and other means, as readers can find on the Team Grey Wolf virtual fundraiser page on Facebook.
Her mother, Lynn Rudd, said Alexandra has always had a big heart and wanted to help people with anything and everything that she could.
Watching her daughter battle her condition has not been easy for her or the family.
“It’s been very challenging,” said Lynn. “We’re all in this with her.”
Her family rotates shifts so that one or two people are with her in the hospital around the clock.
“It’s very hard to watch sometimes, but we are there for her,” said Lynn, noting that Alexandra’s short-term memory has degraded, though her long-term memory is as sharp as ever.
“It’s so important to Alex that this money that’s raised is taken and used for research on brain tumours, and how they can eradicate brain tumours for everyone,” said Lynn. “It won’t happen right away, but with the money that’s raised, there’s more hope for people in the future who may develop brain tumours of any kind – that there will be help for them, that there will be less sickness and less excruciating pain than what someone goes through right now with glioblastoma or any other brain tumour.”
As a baby, Alexandra was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a condition that can lead to tumours on nerve endings and wreak havoc on the body. She underwent two years of chemotherapy as a toddler to treat optic nerve gliomas, but due to the tumours, she became legally blind.
In 2017, an MRI showed a growing mass in her brain. She has been battling brain cancer since. In June 2021, she was diagnosed with glioblastoma stage 4 brain cancer. In November 2021, her doctor’s prognosis gave her one to two months to live.
While living with the cancer, she has become something of a sensation on TikTok for her cooking videos, and recently had one go viral and reach more than 100,000 people.
Her TikTok account is @alexandra.rudd.