Beauty Queen Beats Brain Tumor
Personality change helped doctors make diagnosis.
When Nurgul Djantelieva was selected first runner up in the Mrs. Asia USA pageant in Redondo Beach, California earlier this month, her family said it was nothing short of a miracle.
Seven years ago Djantelieva underwent major brain surgery to remove a giant tumor pressing on the front of her brain.
Djantelieva had been completely healthy until the symptoms began as she planned her marriage and her immigration from Kyrgyzstan to the United States.
"I had headaches 24 hours a day and my personality was horrible; I changed, I was edgy and impatient," said Djantelieva.
"She had inappropriate responses, was disoriented and edgy," recalls husband Joseph Sandoval.
Dr. Keith Black, chairman and professor of the Neurosurgery Department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told the couple those symptoms were typical of a brain tumor.
"It is a classical presentation of a frontal lobe tumor; to change the personality," Black said.
Djantelieva was frightened.
"I thought oh my gosh that’s it. I'm dying," she said.
But she was wrong.
Black removed the tumor seven years ago without harming normal brain tissue.
Lab tests showed the tumor was not cancerous and Djantelieva went on with her life, giving birth to two children and training for the Mrs. Asia Pageant.
She won first runner up.
Even more amazing was the fact that she won for Best Performer for her dance routine.
Ironically she also won for Most Popular Contestant-- for her personality-- a personality that changed when the brain tumor grew then returned to normal after the surgery.
"I have a purpose now. I am miracle. I am so happy. I have a loving family. I am back the way I used to be," Djantelieva said.
Dr. Black said that she is 100 percent cancer free.
Although she will be checked regularly she has a great chance of living a full happy life as an inspiration to many others.