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Keeping the Faith




About 10 days after participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure race in 2007, Diane was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. She had surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and recovered in the early part of 2009.

A few months later in August 2009, she participated in the Metro KC Head for the Cure 5k as a member of Team Elliott. She now says that she did not fully appreciate the impact of brain cancer on those who are challenged by this disease, even though she had defeated breast cancer. Five days after the 5k, she was diagnosed as having a primary brain tumor, which was a stage IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). After surgery, rehabilitation, radiation and chemotherapy, she was able to return home and was running up to 14 miles per day on her “Wii fitness” from the end of November to the end of December.

This past April, the tumor was growing again, so she had surgery and rehabilitation. She was able to return home and start driving again, but then suffered additional problems and received one lumbar drain in the middle of 2010. Last month, a second brain tumor was found, and she has been in rehabilitation learning to move her left arm and to walk again.

She is determined to get a pass from rehabilitation in order to participate in this year’s 5k, even if it is in a wheelchair. Diane knows her mental attitude is extremely important in dealing with her various forms of cancer and is not giving up her fight. She has already demonstrated that with success in her battle with breast cancer.

Diane has not lost her sense of humor and jokes that she is not participating in any other fundraisers, “except for breast and brain cancer, as they seem to cause me to get that disease a few days later.” She then lists a bunch of other diseases she would like to avoid. She also has a great memory, which is unusual for persons with this stage of GBM, especially with multiple tumors.

Several months ago, Diane gave a speech to her church in which she had a poster of a large “C” and a poster of a small “c.” She told them that her cancers were the small “c,” and the large “C” was Christ. What an example for us to keep in mind at all times.

She now truly appreciates how important the support, love, understanding and patience of family and friends are for the complete success of a brain cancer patient’s rehab and recovery. She especially appreciates the support of her children, Brian and Jessica, and her close girlfriends. Diane knows God’s plan is for the best, even if there is no way we can understand why this has happened.

Diane lost her battle with brain cancer October 11, 2010