TOKiMONSTA takes over First Avenue

MONSTA returns to the stage after a battle with a deadly disease

Kjerstin Hall
Staff Photographer

First Avenue has shown over 400 up and coming bands and singers. Everything from Eminem, to Prince, and even the Goo-Goo Dolls. 

 On October 9, 2018 two more artists were added to the ever-growing list. TOKiMONSTA took the stage at about 9:15 p.m. and was an immediate hit. 

So much so, that she debuted a new song that had not yet been released to the public, a mix from “Odesza”.  During this song, she took a picture with everyone. The crowd went wild for it and was raving with her all the way through her last step on the stage.

Kjerstin Hall | MSU Reporter

TOKiMONSTA has surprisingly gone through a lot more than most people know.  In the fall of 2015, she was diagnosed with an extremly-rare disease called Moyamoya, a brain disease in which one or both of the main arteries that carry blood up to your brain is restricted and therefore forces the blood to take smaller veins as a passageway to the brain. 

It’s diagnosed through a Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) or other brain scans and presents itself as a smoke like image due to the blood taking an alternative route to the brain. 

When she was diagnosed, the report showed that her left stenosis had diminished to 90 percent blockage 2 separate areas. This means that on the left side of her brain there were two shrunken zones due to the poor blood flow. The report also showed the same thing on the right side of her brain. 

The only treatment to help with Moyamoya, though it does not cure it, is brain surgery in which the doctors rearrange the arteries that way they are laying across the top of the brain and use gravity to help with the blood flow.  She had the surgery the first week of the following January. 

Though the surgery was meant to help her in the long run, Tionesta was left with almost no language comprehension and it also affected her ability to make music. In fact, she wasn’t able to make new music for about a month due to the impairment of that part of her brain. 

Kjerstin Hall | MSU Reporter

Though, about 3 months later, she had recovered rapidly and was a performer at Coachella, performing in front of a crowd of about 15,000 people, and not a single one of them knew about her hardships because she never made them public throughout the ordeal. 

At the end of the day, TOKiMONSTA claims that she decided to share her story because she wanted to bring light to Moyamoya and remind people that artists are people too and they endure their own hardships. She also shared that it was something of an inspiration and that “if I can do something like this, anyone can.”

Feature photo by Kjerstin Hall | MSU Reporter.

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