Sara* was a dancer with an impish smile and bright brown eyes. Her dark hair was cut in bangs that framed her face like a porcelain doll. She had small, delicate hands—which were currently fidgeting with a small silver cross around her neck.

Sara visited my clinic following a wave of headaches and vision problems. An MRI scan revealed that she had a tumor, roughly the size of an orange, in an important part of the brain called the temporal lobe. As a neuropsychologist, I work with neurosurgeons during surgeries for which patients stay awake to ensure brain function is not disrupted.