Stephanie Zenisek, or Mrs. Z as she is affectionately known, was the long-time librarian at Shorecliffs Middle School and a proud SCHS Cheer & Stunt mom to daughter Claire who also attended Truman Benedict and Bernice Ayers. Her husband Mike works at San Onofre State Park. This family is deeply rooted in SC. Stephanie recently left Shorecliffs, where she loved working with kids and making them feel at home in the library for the past 18 years, to take a higher paying job in the CUSD office as her only daughter Claire prepares to head off to college. Claire will be attending Hope International University in the fall as part of the Teachers Honors College and as an athlete on the Stunt Team.
On Saturday May 5th, our Stunt team was at CIF Southern Section playoffs. Stephanie was in the stands cheering the team on, as she loves to do, with all her energy! That energy had been waining as of late, experiencing unexplained headaches and numbness in her limbs. Following the game Stephanie was hospitalised as the numbness increased drastically and she was unable to walk. The next week was met with great worry and uncertainty, at the same time as Claire's Stunt team was headed to State Playoffs. Playoffs and Prom and all the excitement of the end of the year became an afterthought for Claire as she watched mom's health decline. Stephanie encouraged Claire to finish this historic Stunt season and the Stunt team wore #PlayforZ shirts in support of one of our biggest supporters. Now the Play 4 Z campaign continues with a new mission.
In the last 3 weeks of Claire's senior year when celebration should be high, the Zenisek family received the devastating diagnosis of Stage 4 Glioblastoma. There are tumors on her brain in two locations. One has been partially removed. The other is inoperable. Stephanie has already begun the dificult journey of treating this aggressive cancer, undergoing initial surgery and now entering treatment that includes a special helmet designed to locate the tumors and specifically target treatment.
Stephanie has dedicated 4 years to SC Cheer, leading our youth camps and supporting our program in every way possible, and 18 years to Shorecliffs middle school having a positive impact on so many of our children. Now she needs our support!
The excitement of sending Claire off to college is met with a financial obligation that can be a cause of stress for anyone, but especially a family facing a medical crisis and loss of income. The goal of this funding is to ease the burden of college expenses for Claire as well as supplement out of pocket medical expenses for Stephanie. We want Claire to continue her plan to go to college without interuption and Stephanie to be able to focus on the fight ahead of her.
Let's come together as a community and help this family that has done so much for San Clemente. If we can ease the financial stress, Stephanie can focus solely on her health. If you can donate, please do. If you can include this family in your prayers, please do. If you can just share and help this fundraiser broaden it's reach, please do! We are thankful for any support. Let's come together as One Town One Team and help this wonderful family get through this difficult time.