Mom caring for child with brain damage diagnosed with tumor

CREATED Jan 13, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan 13, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -  To look at 5-year-old Owen Ziebell, you'd never know everything he's endured in his short life.

"It breaks your heart as a mom," said Owen's mother, Alison Ziebell.
 
Owen was born prematurely, at 33 weeks, but was doing fine until the day Alison and husband Jamie were supposed to bring him home.
 
"It was just fluke, bad luck, there was no cause.  He had a stroke that led to a grade 4 brain bleed on the left side," Alison explained.
 
The stroke caused brain damage, and now Owen suffers from epilepsy.  Alison quit her job to focus on Owen.
 
"I'm dedicating my life to Owen and getting as much therapy as we need to do."
 
In December, Alison woke up in the middle of the night with a numb foot.
 
"I just started having a seizure, a grand mal seizure where I was convulsing."
 
She was rushed to the hospital where doctors told Alison she had a brain tumor almost the size of a Twinkie.
 
"Everything almost got simplified for me.  Everything is crazy, but it's simplified what's important to me.  I just care about my kids," Alison said.
 
Tuesday, Owen will go to Children's Hospital to see if they can remove the damaged portion of his brain to stop the seizures.  Alison will soon begin radiation to try to shrink her tumor.
 
Alison admits she's had a couple of days where she cried, but explains she wasted precious time with her family by sulking.
 
"I watched Owen fight for 5 years, and do therapy with determination and a smile.  Now I'm just going to fight right along with him."