The Investment Scientist

A Roller Coaster Ride to A Merry Christmas

Posted on: December 28, 2011

Last Monday, we took our newborn son to hospital for an MRI. He was found to have a lipoma corpus callosum, a very rare congenital tumor in the middle of his left and right brains.

Our pastor Lon Solomon has a daughter with brain damage. If it comes to that, we have an example to follow. Here is what he shared in Esquire magazine:

Jill was born perfectly normal. At three months she started having seizures, and they got worse. Eventually she lost the ability to speak. She’s probably had five thousand grand mals or more, and has serious brain injury. She’s sixteen now, and nonverbal. It took nine years, but finally the doctors figured out that she had mitochondrial disease. The mitochondria are the parts of your cells that produce energy, and hers don’t work right. Her brain doesn’t get enough energy. She used to have six or eight seizures a day. Once, she had nineteen. We never slept through the night.

My daughter has taught me humility. She requires constant, permanent care. She’s not fully potty trained. She has simple pleasures. Taking a walk, picking up sticks, is what she loves to do. Riding in our van and looking out the window gives her great pleasure. I think we get so caught up in the complexity and the speed of things that we forget that that doesn’t bring real happiness. My daughter is amazingly happy. She doesn’t know she’s retarded, that she’s disabled. She needs love. She has been Walden to me, in reminding me what is important. It’s not having a BlackBerry. Or having your name in Esquire magazine. It’s serving somebody. God has given Brenda and me the gift of serving Jill, who will be one year old forever. At first I despised this fate and viewed it as a curse. Now I know that it is a privilege.

Already, Caden’s health issues have an impact on me. I am much more appreciative of all the good things in life and my heart is much more sensitive to other people’s sufferings.

The doctors – we are lucky to have many highly trained specialists working on him – did bring us good news.

  1. Thus far, Caden is just like a normal baby. He shows no symptoms.
  2. The MRI scan has revealed that the tumor did not cause any damages to surrounding brain tissues.
  3. The lipoma is a benign tumor that will not grow.

So, no kidding, my family is having a Merry Christmas this year, merrier than in the past.

Wish you a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hanukkah! If you believe in God, keep Caden in your prayers.

Get my white paper: The Informed Investor: 5 Key Concepts for Financial Success.

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Michael Zhuang is principal of MZ Capital, a fee-only independent advisory firm based in Washington, DC.


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