- Chiari Malformation Awareness
What is Chiari Malformation?
Chiari malformations (CMs) are structural defects in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls balance. When the indented bony space at the lower rear of the skull is smaller than normal, the cerebellum and brainstem can be pushed downward. The resulting pressure on the cerebellum can block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (the liquid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord) and can cause a range of symptoms including dizziness, muscle weakness, numbness, vision problems, headache, and problems with balance and coordination. There are three primary types of CM. The most common is Type I, which may not cause symptoms and is often found by accident during an examination for another condition. Type II (also called Arnold-Chiari malformation) is usually accompanied by a myelomeningocele-a form of spina bifida that occurs when the spinal canal and backbone do not close before birth, causing the spinal cord to protrude through an opening in the back. This can cause partial or complete paralysis below the spinal opening. Type III is the most serious form of CM, and causes severe neurological defects. Other conditions sometimes associated with CM include hydrocephalus, syringomyelia, and spinal curvature.
- Cassie and Caden left NC
Cassie and Caden got to meet up for a visit. They went to visit a family that have a son and daughter each with a C…Cassie arrived at her new destination
We just received Cassie today. My daughter fell in love with her the minute I opened the box. Cassie will be accomp…Cassie’s visit in North Carolina
My second stop around the world was to Durham, North Carolina. I stayed with a seven year old little girl, Stephani…Caden and Cassie go to school
Caden and Cassie, our Chiari bears went on a very special visit to an elementary school. They had so much fun. Cass…
- Cassie Bearowitz
- Chloe Bearowitz
My name is Cassie Bearowitz. I am a very special bear! I am 7 years old and I have a Chiari Malformation. Chiari Malformation is a herniation of your brain out of your skull and it pushes down on the spinal canal. My mommy bear likes to say, “I have too much brain to contain!” My herniation is 13 mm. Chiari Malformation can be very hard to diagnose in bears. The reason it is so hard to diagnose is because there can be so many different symptoms that go with the disorder. My symptoms are headaches, back pain, eye pressure, hearing loss, and pain in my arms and legs. Sometimes I have trouble with my memory for remembering things.
I was diagnosed when I was two years old. My Mommy noticed that when I cried I would grab the back of my head and say it hurt. She also noticed that I sometimes would lose my balance. I was then diagnosed after the doctor did a MRI of my brain. I have to have lots of MRI’s for my Chiari Malformation. It can be very loud and noisy when they do the MRI! It takes a very long time because they have to take lots of pictures of my brain and spine to make sure that I don’t have a syrinx.(fluid on the spine) I like to pretend that I am a sleeping Princess bear when they do the MRI. I really love princesses!! I also love anything pink, purple, or with sparkles! I love ballet too!
I may need to have a surgery sometime. It is called decompression brain surgery. My neurosurgeon is watching my symptoms and will let me parents know when they think it is time to do that.
I would love to make new friends! I would love to come and play with you! I love to meet others like me and to hear your story about your Chiari Malformation. Let’s go on an adventure together across the country and become good friends!