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Keeping the Faith




Submitted by:
Rich Martin

In the spring of 2014, Stephanie Martin came down with a cold followed by a sudden, unexpected loss of hearing in her left ear. The ear, nose and throat specialist she saw tried a few remedies but none worked. That’s when he suggested an MRI to rule out an auditory tumor. The MRI ruled out the auditory tumor, but revealed a grade 2 Astrocytoma. This proved to be good news. Though the tumor had grown slowly, most likely over a 7-10 year period, had it not been found at that time, it would ultimately have progressed into grade 4 Glioblastoma — the same type of brain cancer that ended former U.S. Senator John McCain’s life last year. On August 8, 2014, Stephanie underwent a full-awake craniotomy to remove an Astrocytoma WHO grade 2 from her left frontal lobe. The surgeon was able to remove 97% of the tumor which was located near her speech center and motor strip. After 8 weeks of PT, OT, and speech therapy she returned to teaching at Deerfield High School. A routine MRI in July of 2015 picked up new tumor growth, so she had to go through 30 days of concurrent radiation and chemotherapy followed by another six cycles of chemotherapy. Scans since July of 2015 have shown no new growth including one she just had on Friday September 6, 2019. Throughout her journey, Stephanie has been an incredible source of inspiration to her family, friends, colleagues, students and fellow survivors with her positive attitude and terrific sense of humor in spite of her diagnosis. She has certainly kept the faith from day one of her journey that started back in July, 2014.