A former KELOLAND TV weekend anchor is back in front of our cameras. But not for the reason you might think.
Jessica Hopkins, now known as Jessica Brovold, has stepped full-time into her role as mom after her daughter, Kallie, was diagnosed last fall with brain cancer.
With a big smile and bouncy curls, Kallie Brovold was a four-year-old full of energy, but almost a year ago, she started suffering from some troubling symptoms.
"She started with just random vomiting. We just couldn't figure out what was going on, so we went from a GI specialist to a neurologist," Jessica said.
Then Kallie started having seizures and doctors decided to do an EEG. They found out Kallie had a brain tumor.
"Then later you go through this huge surgery, a 15-hour surgery, thinking it's something that is going to be low-grade that you won't have to worry about. Then you find out that it's a grade three. It's malignant. It's pretty serious at that point. It was horrible," Jessica said.
In fact, doctors weren't able to get the whole tumor out during the first surgery.
"We knew that the only option for her to have a chance at all was to get all the tumor out, so we had to search the entire country to find a surgeon who would even do the surgery because it was a very risky surgery. We knew she was likely going to have some deficits," Jessica said.
After two surgeries and 30 radiation treatments, Kallie is making great strides now that her cancer is gone. She's learning how to walk and talk again.
“I had many days where I wondered if my daughter was ever going to walk again or if she was going to talk again. She didn't talk for two months after her surgery. I just remember sitting there crying and wondering what have we done," Jessica said.
While Kallie still struggles to use the right side of her body, her mother is confident she will make a full recovery. She's happy her now five-year-old's loving, bubbly personality is also back.
"She's so strong and she's working really hard and getting better all the time," Jessica said.