An anonymous reader writes "Sunnyvale, California is a town 40 miles outside of San Francisco, in the Bay Area. As in most of California, the weather is mild, and the winters are short, even sometimes warm. On December 20, Sara Alvarez took her youngest child for a walk in the park in town. As daylight faded, Alvarez lost feeling in her right leg, then her left foot. Her body became numb, and she became weak. At 10:15 pm, her husband drove her to a hospital in Redwood City, about 20 minutes away from their town. There, over the course of Christmas, doctors batted around diagnoses: tumor, cancer. Finally, Alvarez received a brain scan that revealed the truth: neurocysticercosis, a calcified tapeworm in her brain (link contains images of brain surgery)."