Help Steph Beat Spinal Cord Cancer!

$18,724 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 297 people in 56 months
Created November 16, 2014
Stephine Nwaneri, a 24 year old graduate of the University of Missouri working as a medical professional was preparing to apply to Physician Assistant school when she began to feel changes in her body. She developed weakness in her left eye leading to double vision, and slight weakness on her right side causing her to limp and limiting her use of her right hand.  Worried, she consulted with her physician and was scheduled for an MRI of her brain. On October 16th 2014, Stephine was diagnosed with a brain tumor on a very delicate portion of her brain called the brainstem.

As the brainstem controls many vital functions necessary for life like swallowing, breathing, and heart rate, Stephine was told surgery to remove brainstem tumors are often not preformed as they are very risky and could potentially leave an individual in a vegetative state. However, after consulting with a neurosurgeon Stephine and her family decided to go along with an attempt at surgery to remove the tumor. They felt that surgery in fact provided Stephine her best chance at living a healthy life again.

On October 23rd, 2014 Stephine went under the knife, and after 10 hours in the OR. Her surgeon proclaimed that they had successfrully removed most of the tumor. After surgery, Stephine unable to breath on her own was left with a breathing tube. 5 days later and 3 failed attempts at removing the breathing tube, Stephine's doctors decided to perform another procedure on her called a tracheostomy, where a hole is made in one's neck to better assist with breathing. And a week after surgery Stephine was finally given a diagnosis of Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, a very rare brain cancer.

On Thursday Nov 13th, 2014, Stephine was finally moved out of the ICU. In and out of the hospital Stephine completed speech, occupational, and physical therapy to help her regain her strength and function back, before completing chemotherapy and radiation.

After months of intense therapy, chemo, and radiation, She was given yet again more devastating news. She was told she would never be able to have a baby due to the invasiveness and the location where the radiation therapy was administered.  She remained cancer free for 2 years.

Pregnancy

The unthinkable happened. On May 6, 2018,  she discovered she was pregnant. Something she was told two years prior could never happen. She was pregnant with my miracle baby. Throughout the pregnancy, She suffered from what she thought were usual pregnancy symptoms. She developed sharp back pains periodically radiating through her mid-upper back and faint muscle weakness in both lower extremities. As the pregnancy continued the pain and weakness progressively worsened.  She thought this was normal, as she had no clue what to expect from pregnancy.

 Post-Partum

 On November 28, 2018, Azaiaha Osinachi Irondi was born. In the Igbo language, Osinachi means "Gift from God." Her bouncing baby boy was God's doing.  Unfortunately, as her son continued to grow her  health continued to decline. The sharp back pain and muscle weakness still persisted. A lesson learned from her previous tumor diagnoses was to seek medical attention immediately when she noticed or had health concerns. She reached out to my medical providers at The University of Kansas Hospital. After receiving numerous test such as: blood work, EKG, chest X-Ray, spine X-Ray, CT Scan of the brain, and MRI of both the brain and neck She was left with no answers. As the days went by, She progressive became weaker and unable to support her own body weight. She could no longer walk on her own. She fell victim to using her assistive walking devices. This resulting in the inability to effectively care for her newborn and work.

 On March 16, 2019, a terrifying event occurred. In her words

"I heard my son crying and I could not move my body to embrace him. I was stricken deeply by sharp back pain and muscle leg weakness. Immediately I made the decision to go to the ER.  My mother came to my rescue and drove me to The University Of Kansas Hospital Emergency Department. There I consulted with a neurologist and he ordered a spine MRI. After a 45 minute MRI of my spine, a golf ball size tumor was detected pressing against my spinal cord directly at T4 and T5 thoracic vertebrates. The neurologist then expressed, due to the rapid growth rate of the mass immediate surgery is highly recommend. If no surgery is performed, I risked in becoming a paraplegic. On March 18, 2019, I underwent a four-hour surgery to remove the tumor."

Post Operation 
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The surgery was a success. The neurosurgeon was able to remove the entire tumor from her spinal cord. During the surgery, tissue samples were removed to be tested by pathology for malignant cells. The neurosurgeon identified that the tumor was a meningioma. My neurosurgeon had also suggested there may have been a connection between the meningioma growth with the expression of estrogen hormones and pregnancy.

Recovery

 After spending two days in the ICU and three days on the Richard and Annette Bloch Surgical Oncology Neurosurgery Patient Care Unit at the The University of Kansas Hospital Cambridge Tower A she has been transferred to The University of Kansas Hospital Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit. Currently, She is receiving intensive rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy. Once again she is plagued with the tough task to relearn how to walk. At this time I strive to regain my strength by staying motivated, patient, and persistent.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Please help me overcome this devastating obstacle. I would appreciate any type of support in efforts to help me regain my strength. At this time I am experiencing financial hardships. Due to the nature of my job position (Per Diem. PRN) I was not eligible to receive paid time off during my maternity leave. Limited to only my husband's income it has become extremely difficult to efficiently support a newborn baby, pay medical bills, and pay rent. Any donations are greatly appreciated. Once again, thank you for your time, and feel free to contact me with any questions.


Kind Regards,
 Stephine



 Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place - that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have the perseverance to realize the great life". A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
  

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Thank you everyone for your continued support and prayers. I have discharged from rehab. l was discharged from outpatient rehab with a walker, AFO (Ankle-foot orthosis to correct foot drop), and a knee brace (to prevent hypertension). At this moment I cannot walk on my own without using assistive devices. Unfortunately, before I was discharged I was presented with some devastating news. My pathology results came in. I was told that the tissue sample of my tumor was in fact malignant and related to my previous tumor. My neurosurgeon then told me that he has scheduled me to see both my neuro-oncologist and radio-oncologist to discuss when I will start chemo and radiation therapy.

Nonetheless, on Monday April 15, 2019 I will start intensive outpatient rehab at Ability KC. Three or four days a week I will engage in three hours of intensive physical and occupational therapy during each session. I am optimistic about the future. I know I will persevere, get stronger, and beat this cancer once again.

Continue to support and pray for me. I truly do appreciate all the love and support.

Thank You,
Steph
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I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through my Cancer battle and recovery. I have come to go fund me again to ask for any assistance you are able to give, as a new tumor was recently found in my spine leaving me unable to walk....

> Backstory
As many of you who have been following my story may know, On October 16, 2014, I was delivered some devastating news. A cherry size tumor was discovered in my brainstem. I was told I had a rare form of cancer called Choroid Plexus Carcinoma. With no other options, I proceeded to have surgery to remove the tumor. Following to surgery. I developed a substantial amount of complications. I was left without a voice for a year, unable to eat regular foods for months, and had to relearn how to walk and write. After months of intense therapy, I was given yet again more devastating news. I was told I would never be able to have a baby due to the invasiveness and the location where the radiation therapy was administered. This prognosis did not sit well with me. I knew God had another plan for me. In fact, through thick and thin and surpassing all my obstacles I surpassed all expectations and met new marks.

> Pregnancy
The unthinkable happened. On May 6, 2018, I discovered I was pregnant. Something I was told two years prior could never happen. I was pregnant with my miracle baby. Throughout the pregnancy, I suffered from what I thought were usual pregnancy symptoms. I developed sharp back pains periodically radiating through my mid-upper back and faint muscle weakness in both my lower extremities. As my pregnancy continued the pain and weakness progressively worsen. I thought this was normal, as i had no clue what to expect from pregnancy.

> Post-Partum
On November 28, 2018, Azaiaha Osinachi Irondi was born. In the Igbo language, Osinachi means "Gift from God." My bouncing baby boy was God's doing. I was blessed. Unfortunately, as my son continued to grow my health continued to decline. The sharp back pain and muscle weakness still persisted. A lesson learned from my previous tumor diagnoses was to seek medical attention immediately when I notice or have health concerns. I did just that. I reached out to my medical providers at The University of Kansas Hospital. After receiving numerous test such as: blood work, EKGs, chest X-Ray, spine X-Ray, CT Scan of the brain, and MRI of both the brain and neck I was left with no answers. Every test was clear of any abnormalities. As the days went by, I progressive became weaker and unable to support my own body weight. I could no longer walk on my own. I fell victim to using my assistive walking devices. This resulting in the inability to effectively care for my newborn and return back to work.

On March 16, 2019, a terrifying event occurred. I heard my son crying and I could not move my body to embrace him. I was stricken deeply by sharp back pain and muscle leg weakness. Immediately I made the decision to go to the ER. My mother came to my rescue and drove me to The University Of Kansas Hospital Emergency Department. There I consulted with a neurologist and he ordered a spine MRI. After a 45 minute MRI of my spine, a golf ball size tumor was detected pressing against my spinal cord directly at T4 and T5 thoracic vertebrates. The neurologist then expressed, due to the rapid growth rate of the mass immediate surgery is highly recommend. If no surgery is performed, I risked in becoming a paraplegic. On March 18, 2019, I underwent a four-hour surgery to remove the tumor.

> Post Operation
The surgery was a success. The neurosurgeon was able to remove the entire tumor from my spinal cord. During the surgery, tissue samples were removed to be tested by pathology for malignant cells. The neurosurgeon identified that the tumor was a meningioma. My neurosurgeon had also suggested there may have been a connection between the meningioma growth with the expression of estrogen hormones and pregnancy.

> Recovery
After spending two days in the ICU and three days on the Richard and Annette Bloch Surgical Oncology Neurosurgery Patient Care Unit at the The University of Kansas Hospital Cambridge Tower A I have been transferred to The University of Kansas Hospital Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit. Currently, I am receiving intensive rehabilitation services such as physical and occupational therapy. Once again I am plagued with the tough task to relearn how to walk.

At this time I strive to regain my strength by staying motivated, patient, and persistent.

> My Appreciation
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Please help me overcome this devastating obstacle. I would appreciate any type of support in efforts to help me regain my strength. At this time I am experiencing financial hardships. Due to the nature of my job position (Per Diem. PRN). I was not eligible to receive paid time off during my maternity leave. Limited to only my husband's income it has become extremely difficult to efficiently support a newborn baby, pay medical bills, and pay rent. Any donations are greatly appreciated.

Once again, thank you for your time, and feel free to contact me with any questions.

Kind Regards,
Stephine

> Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place - that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have the perseverance to realize the great life". A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
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After being voiceless for over a year, Stephine can now speak again. All of the scar tissue in her throat has healed, so air can pass through much more freely. Stephine does still have vocal cord paralysis of one vocal cord and weakness of the other, so her voice is not back to normal yet. As her voice continues to get stronger, and she generally continues to get stronger she has decided to return to school. She has applied to and gained acceptance into St Francis University Online Master's of Health Science program, which she will begin later this year.
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Unfortunately Stephine's surgery did not go as planned. When the surgeons went in, they found too much scar tissue in her throat. So, if they tried to put in the new trach it would block her airway more. Instead they proceeded to do a scope and balloon dilation to open up her airway, and put back the old trach. Stephine's spirits still remain up and mentally she knows she will speak again....please continue to keep her in your prayers.
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Read a Previous Update
Gerald McLemore II
45 months ago

Hey Steph! I'm so glad to hear you are making a speedy recovery! All praises to the Lord Almighty for keeping you and building a support system around you such as your friends and family. You are totally right when you said "I would live to tell my story" by God's grace and mercy PLEASE share it! Again, I'm thankful that you've recovered and will continue to pray that it does NOT make a return and will be replaced with strength. God Bless. Isaiah 41:10

+ Read More
Bayo Adio
54 months ago

Hey Steph! I just saw this on facebook. I Just wanted to reach out and tell you to hang in there sistah! Please let me know if there is anyway I can help. I ll try to contribute something to the fund.

+ Read More
Roche Port
55 months ago

Get well soon Stephanie. Just saw this after i called one of my co worker. I love you and i know you are a strong lady, you will make it dear.

+ Read More
Adhis Nyasibuor
55 months ago

Oh I remember the last long conversation I had with you, you were talking home to visit Africa. You are in my prayers, God who gave you life is fighting for you. I trust in God that you are going to be completely healed in Jesus name!

+ Read More
Terri Risinger-McKay
56 months ago

Oh Stephine it makes me happy to see you sitting on the side of the bed with no trach. I was you exactly 10 years ago diagnosed with Ependymoma on my brain stem. After high risk craniotomy I had to learned to walk, talk, breath, swallow again. This will not be an easy road but you can do this. My prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and when you don't know what to do because EVERYTHING is so hard now don't give up. It will get easier, it just takes time and a whole lot of patience.

+ Read More
Esosa Ighodaro
56 months ago

Please can i have Stephine's parents no? I would like to pray over her with her parents over the phone. I'll also send my love seed. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, i rebuke you foul spirit of infirmity over Stephine's body, and i curse the root of this plague now in the name of Jesus. Every agent of the devil responsible for this attack goes down to the grave by the judgement of God in Jesus name. Stephine, Jesus Christ make you whole speedily in Jesus name. I command the power of His resurrection over your body to revitalise your body. That turmor is cursed to the roots in Jesus name. Your testimony shall be noised abroad in Kansas City and beyond and draw many to Christ in Jesus precious name. My cell no is 214-664-5065.

+ Read More

$18,724 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 297 people in 56 months
Created November 16, 2014
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$150
Anonymous
2 months ago
KM
$25
Karin Morgan
2 months ago
$30
Anonymous
3 months ago
GO
$35
Grace Odogbili
3 months ago

Sending love and prayers for healing!

$20
Lilian Ukazu
3 months ago
KS
$50
Keegan Samuel
3 months ago

Just wanted to help

TB
$500
Tim and Angela Brown
3 months ago

Love and prayers to you, Stepanie. ❤️

UI
$100
Ugochukwu Igbokwe
3 months ago
UU
$100
Urum Urum-Eke
3 months ago
$500
Anonymous
3 months ago
Gerald McLemore II
45 months ago

Hey Steph! I'm so glad to hear you are making a speedy recovery! All praises to the Lord Almighty for keeping you and building a support system around you such as your friends and family. You are totally right when you said "I would live to tell my story" by God's grace and mercy PLEASE share it! Again, I'm thankful that you've recovered and will continue to pray that it does NOT make a return and will be replaced with strength. God Bless. Isaiah 41:10

+ Read More
Bayo Adio
54 months ago

Hey Steph! I just saw this on facebook. I Just wanted to reach out and tell you to hang in there sistah! Please let me know if there is anyway I can help. I ll try to contribute something to the fund.

+ Read More
Roche Port
55 months ago

Get well soon Stephanie. Just saw this after i called one of my co worker. I love you and i know you are a strong lady, you will make it dear.

+ Read More
Adhis Nyasibuor
55 months ago

Oh I remember the last long conversation I had with you, you were talking home to visit Africa. You are in my prayers, God who gave you life is fighting for you. I trust in God that you are going to be completely healed in Jesus name!

+ Read More
Terri Risinger-McKay
56 months ago

Oh Stephine it makes me happy to see you sitting on the side of the bed with no trach. I was you exactly 10 years ago diagnosed with Ependymoma on my brain stem. After high risk craniotomy I had to learned to walk, talk, breath, swallow again. This will not be an easy road but you can do this. My prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and when you don't know what to do because EVERYTHING is so hard now don't give up. It will get easier, it just takes time and a whole lot of patience.

+ Read More
Esosa Ighodaro
56 months ago

Please can i have Stephine's parents no? I would like to pray over her with her parents over the phone. I'll also send my love seed. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, i rebuke you foul spirit of infirmity over Stephine's body, and i curse the root of this plague now in the name of Jesus. Every agent of the devil responsible for this attack goes down to the grave by the judgement of God in Jesus name. Stephine, Jesus Christ make you whole speedily in Jesus name. I command the power of His resurrection over your body to revitalise your body. That turmor is cursed to the roots in Jesus name. Your testimony shall be noised abroad in Kansas City and beyond and draw many to Christ in Jesus precious name. My cell no is 214-664-5065.

+ Read More
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