RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Friends are collecting donations and hosting a fundraiser for a 34-year-old who is battling terminal brain cancer.
Bruna Thomsen was diagnosed with a brain tumor called oligodendroglioma nearly two decades ago. She was diagnosed her senior year in high school after having a seizure.
"We keep trusting that God is in control of everything and get us through this, but there are days that you scream, you cry, you know, and nobody sees it, but most of the days you need to be strong because if you’re not strong enough then she falls too," said Cristina Luduwig, Bruna's mother.
Thomsen can no longer walk or talk, but her family said she feels the love around her.
"She's paralyzed from her right side. She can’t speak. She’s very conscious, sometimes she gets really confused, but most of the time she’s conscious and knows everything that’s going on," said Luduwig.
For more than a decade, Thomsen has been on seizure medication. She also had surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation.
"The tumor has always been there, but the oligodendroglioma is a slow-growing tumor, but it does progress later in years to something that's far more aggressive. It's always terminal," said Laurie Van Damme, a family friend.
Laurie Van Damme is a registered nurse. She met Thomsen while working as a nurse when Thomsen was pregnant with her daughter.
"When you meet a family like this, it just kind of really pulls at you to really want to do anything you can to help them so that's kind of how our relationship began while she was pregnant," said Van Damme.
Friends are raising money online on a GoFundMe page to help Bruna and her family. They are also hosting a craft fair on Saturday, Dec. 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lucaya Lakes Clubhouse in Riverview, 11305 Lake Lucaya Drive.
There will be vendors, a raffle table, cookies and gift cards.
"There will be 15 crafters most of them are all handmade items. We’ve got somebody making bath bombs and soaps and jewelry wreaths, centerpiece," said Patty Karaisz, an organizer.
Bruna's family appreciates any help from the community. The proceeds will pay for her extensive care.
"A community to come together around this family and let them know to make them feel cared for loved," said Van Damme. "I really just fell in love with this family. There is just so much goodness and kindness from everyone."