This story dates back to October 18, 2013

A sister-city relationship between County Roscommon and the city of Downey gave 37-year-old Roscommon native, Pearl Crosby Dillon, with a dangerous tumor a new shot at life.

Pearl Crosby-Dillon, the daughter of Cllr. Tom Crosby, was told by her doctors that they had discovered a tumor buried deep in her brain.

Last spring, a delegation from Downey happened to be visiting County Roscommon, and a member of the delegation helped Pearl meet Dr. Hrayr Shahinian of the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles.

“The tumor that Pearl had is located truly in the epicenter of the brain, all the way at the level of the mid-brain,” said Shahinian.

Shahinian developed a revolutionary method of removing deep brain tumors like Pearl’s, a protocol which is only minimally invasive.

Pearl said after suffering with the tumor for nearly seven years, she couldn’t wait for the surgery.

“I was so relieved,” she said. “I was like, ‘Finally, there’s a solution to my problem.’ The way I felt before the surgery was that everything was a struggle, everything was really a struggle. Life was a struggle.”

Ten days after the operation, Pearl said she feels great.

“I’m in a different place…I feel like a different person. And I know I have lots to look forward to,” she said.

“This is done. It’s finished. She’s not gonna need anything. She’s not gonna need radiation. She’s not gonna need anything,” said Shahinian.

“It’s a great story, I think,” said Tom Crosby. “It’s one that could not have happened but for the connection between Downey and so many thousands of miles away in Ireland.”

Pearl said she can’t wait to get to Ireland to be with her husband and their two children.

“I’m looking forward so much to our lives…and after everything we’ve been through… and to feel normal again. And to have energy to do all the walks in the park and to swim together,” she said.

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