My daughter Stephanie Hufford is 28 years old. She was diagnosed with a stage IV brain tumor, glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer, on July 6, 2018. She is the loving daughter of Sue Hufford (deceased) and myself, and step-daughter to my wife Tracy Hufford. She is sister to younger brothers Jeff and Joel, and stepsister to Tracy's six children.
After graduating UC Irvine in Japanese Language Studies, she moved to Waki, Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan and worked as an English assistant in the Waki public schools. After three years there she moved to Tokyo to work at a manufacturer teaching English to company staff where she has been for three years.
Stephanie has been active at her church as an interpreter and member of the church family.
Over the two months between May and July, Stephanie suffered from cold and flu-like symptoms. She visited three hospitals over that time to address those symptoms. The doctor at the third hospital suspected something worse than a cold or the flu might be the matter, and ordered an MRI to take a deeper look. When the doctor performed the MRI and saw a mass in her brain, it was immediately indicative of glioblastoma due to its position and size. It was large and moving quickly.
After researching hospitals and treatment options, Stephanie chose to be treated at Tokyo Joshi Idai Hospital at Tokyo Women's Medical University, where in addition to the standard treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, she could also receive photodynamic therapy, a treatment only available in Japan that could extend her survival rate by at least six months or longer.
Planning and implementing her treatment plan are Dr. Masayuki Nitta and his team.
Surgery was scheduled and the craniotomy performed July 20, 2018. After a bout with bacterial meningitis, Stephanie started 6 weeks of aggressive chemo and radiation, and basic rehab. After this, she will begin a higher level regimen of rehab and additional chemotherapy at another hospital, punctuated by immunotherapy at Joshi Idai Hospital.
Glioblastoma is the worst of the worst. We pray for a miracle, but short of that, we are scheduling immunotherapy in November, in the hope that it will give her more time. Results for immunotherapy for about 33 percent of other recipients achieving up to double the survival rate.
How You Can Help
Stephanie has lovingly served her community by focusing her education and career on the service of others, both in Japan and the States.
Despite being well insured through her employer via Japan's Government Managed Health Insurance plan, immunotherapy falls outside its nationally uniform fee schedule for reimbursement.
Funds raised will be used to cover the bill for immunotherapy at a cost of $11,000.
Any donations received exceeding what will be necessary for the immunotherapy treatment will be used to help with the purchase of Stephanie's airline flight for her return to the USA after being cleared by her doctor to fly.
Please visit Jay's blog for additional details.
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