‘There’s nothing that beats the community here’: Young woman battling rare tumor showered with love

Published: Apr. 10, 2022 at 6:35 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - 23-year-old MaLeah Jimenez has been battling a rare form of a brain tumor her whole life. She only became aware of it after heading to the emergency room in January.

“There’s multiple seizures a day for me, there’s always has been,” said Jimenez. “But unfortunately with seizures and hypothalamic tumors, they’re not always treatable.”

Jimenez had health problems growing up, and the discovery of the tumor helped connect the dots to her childhood. Especially how rare the diagnoses is for the tumor.

“It was scary for everybody else,” said Jimenez. “But to be inside my body and my brain for the last 23 almost 24 years it was almost like, ‘Aha!’ Finally I knew something was wrong, this makes sense.”

By April 10, over $20,000 has been raised to help Jimenez and her husband as the medical bills continue to pile up from the Mayo Clinic and future visits.

“Well it started out super lonely for us, it was kind of crazy. A night in January we went to the E-R and felt so alone, had no clue what to do and within the next week reaching out to us, outpouring love already,” said Jimenez. “There’s nothing that beats the community here and it just showcases that every single time.”

In January, Jimenez’s husband, Xavier, noted that her speech was faltering which led them to the E.R. While it was life altering to find out about the tumor, Jimenez was to get to the bottom of her health issues growing up. This was all connected to the tumor that she was born with. Throughout all of this, Jimenez has been supported by her husband.

“You’re kind of left speechless when you have someone who is literally like always rooting for you, always taking care of you, always putting you first.” said Jimenez.

Through this journey, Jimenez met a young girl in Fargo who is also battling the same kind of tumor. The young girl’s mother, Jill Arneson, met Jimenez by happenstance which has led to a blossoming friendship between the two. Arenson said that it is crucial for her daughter to see Jimenez’s growth throughout the process.

“It’s the most important thing for us,” said Arneson. “We hope to have a relationship with her for many years to come and for our daughter to grow and see MaLeah and see how much she’s overcome. Because she has become an incredible woman so we just hope and pray that our daughter can experience that same thing.”

A Lend a Hand Up fundraiser has been set up for Jimenez and can be found here.

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