Neighborhood Credit Union

Future Looks Bright for Plano Brain Tumor Survivor

By Allison Griffin – Special Contributor 

 

Sim Scott

Sim Scott joins Neighborhood Credit Union CEO Chet Kimmell for 2015 Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon.

At first glance, 14-year-old Sim Scott seems like any other Plano teenager, enjoying a quiet summer with his family and friends.

Except that he has been interviewed on radio and television, earned a first degree black belt in karate, served as an ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, been honored by both the City of Plano and Dallas-based Neighborhood Credit Union, delivered some three dozen speeches to various groups, visited the White House, and hung out with Miss America.

Oh, and Sim has survived two brain surgeries.

Eight summers ago – in June of 2009 – the life of then six-year-old Sim Scott was forever altered when he was diagnosed with a grade II astrocytoma brain tumor. While his friends were swimming and riding bikes, Sim endured two brain surgeries, as doctors at Children’s Medical Center worked to remove the tumor from his brain stem. They were able to get about 95 percent of the tumor, but had to leave a small portion because an even more invasive surgery could permanently damage his brain.

Today, Scott’s tumor remains stable and he has learned to manage the slight weakness he experiences in the muscles on the right side of his body, as well as the diminished vision in one eye. In fact, he credits the difficult diagnosis and recovery for his achievements.

“Seven or eight years ago, I had no idea I would be doing any of this,” says Sim. “I was a little kid and didn’t really understand why I was in the hospital or what my future would hold.”

The future certainly seems brighter than it did during the dark days surrounding his diagnosis, says his mother, Vicki Scott. “We were terrified when we heard the words ‘brain’ and ‘tumor,’” she says. “And on the day of his big surgery, we were the first family in the waiting room that morning and the last to leave that night. When they wheeled Sim into surgery … well, that image will forever be seared into my memory.”

Since his recovery, therapy and rehabilitation sessions and the much-celebrated five-year anniversary when Sim was officially declared to be in remission, Mrs. Scott explains that her son seeks to live every day to its full potential.

“Sim is ‘all in’ when it comes to life,” she says. “He works hard, studies hard, plays hard. But most importantly, we love that he has such compassion and empathy for others.”

He took the SAT test in 7th grade, earning him recognition from Duke University’s Talent Identification Program. He also has earned a spot in Plano Independent School District’s Health Sciences Academy, a rigorous academic program that prepares students for the demands of a pre-med path in college.

Sim Scott began to gain attention only weeks after his big surgery in 2009. At the time, the development director of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation, heard that Sim went from classroom to classroom on his first day back at school to explain to the kids what had happened to him over the summer. So only three months after his release from the hospital, Sim was invited to participate in his very first Children’s Miracle Network Radiothon with KLUV radio.

It was through the annual Radiothon that Sim built a special relationship with Neighborhood Credit Union.

“Our team at Neighborhood Credit Union thinks the world of Sim Scott,” says Neighborhood Credit Union President and CEO Chet Kimmell. “We have been privileged to work alongside Sim and his family to raise awareness and funds for the Children’s Miracle Network over the last few years. Sim’s humility, perspective and passion for life have inspired our credit union members and staff alike to contribute more than $150,000 in matching funds to help other children facing life-threatening conditions.” Kimmell noted that Sim also has been a popular guest and speaker at Neighborhood Credit Union events.

Sim’s passion for life has even garnered national attention. Children’s Medical Center recently nominated Sim for the esteemed Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion program. As the first patient ever from Children’s Medical Center in Dallas ever to be chosen for the honor, Sim serves as a national ambassador for the Children’s Miracle Network, earning him an invitation to the White House and frequent visits to children’s hospitals to share his story of hope with young patients around the country.

It’s a role that seems natural for him, says his mother.

“When Sim was being discharged from Children’s after his big surgery, he told us, ‘When I grow up, I want to work in a hospital and help kids like me,’” says Mrs. Scott. “We look forward to watching him grow and pursue his dream of a career in medicine, so he may someday be able to save the lives of these kids he loves so much.”

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