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The Stelzner Family

$25,503 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 272 people in 12 months
Created June 27, 2018
Susan Bartlett
on behalf of Mike Stelzner
On June 24, 2018 Sarah received an initial diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer after being admitted to the emergency room for a variety of persistent symptoms that had increased in intensity over the last few weeks and even with a few doctors visits a diagnosis had not been confirmed.

On June 27, 2018 Sarah & Mike met with the OB Oncologist at Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN. It was determined that Sarah has a 10-12 cm (baseball) sized tumor growing on her left ovary and small nodule on her abdomen . Fortunately, from what the CT scan showed, her other organs look good, but we won't know this in actuality until she undergoes surgery.

Sarah is scheduled for a complete hysterectomy on Monday, July 2, 2018. She will be in the hospital for 4-5 days and then recuperating at home for about 4 weeks thereafter. During surgery, her medical team will immediately examine the tissue from the extracted tumor to determine if it is benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). As Sarah put it, the way she will know the result is when she wakes up from surgery, she will either have just an abdominal incision or an abdominal incision + a port (which would be used for chemotherapy treatment beginning in August). If the tumor proves to be cancerous, Sarah will undergo 6 rounds of chemotherapy after recovering from surgery.

Due to the fact that Sarah and Mike are both self employed and insurance options are limited and astronomical in price/deductible, Sarah is currently uninsured. Therefore, any financial assistance you can provide to help cover the cost of this surgery and corresponding treatment would be greatly appreciated! It is very hard for Sarah & Mike to ask for help in this way as they have always been on the "helping side", so this is especially hard for them to do but they realize at this point, they must lean on the strength of their family, friends and community to support them through this journey.

We will post updates as they become available and also other ways that  to help support them. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Sarah's sister, Susan via this page as this is a very busy time as everyone processes the initial information and prepares for the impending surgery.

Please keep Sarah, Mike & the boys in your prayers over the coming days, weeks and months! ALL funds raised will go directly to Sarah's medical bills.

Please follow Sarah's story by linking to their Facebook pages!

Thank you and God Bless!
Susan (Sarah's sister)
#SarahStrong
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Today's update...

Mike Stelzner and I would like to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support, love and prayers especially over these last few days. We would like to let everyone know that Sarah Stelzner passed peacefully surrounded by her family shortly before 2pm today. Although we will miss her terribly, we are at peace that she is no longer in the discomfort that came at the end of her journey.

We appreciate your thoughts but please know that they can be overwhelming to receive at a time like this, please know we will read them but may not respond. We look forward to having all of you with us to celebrate her life!! When those arrangements are finalized we will make another post so that everyone is aware.

With love,
Mike Stelzner & Susan Bartlett

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life" Romans 6:4
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A few new posts from Sarah and Mike....Please keep Sarah and her family in your prayers over the coming days and weeks ahead.

March 27th From Sarah:
I wanted to say thank you for all your support and prayers over this last year. After a few days here in the hospital I am hopeful they will let me go home for one last goodbye before I meet Jesus. We don’t know how much time I have left but we know it’s short. Please pray and support my family as they grieve and make sense of it all. They will need all you to help them. God granted me an amazing life and I am blessed that you were all part of it. With love- Sarah

March 27th From Mike:
I felt like a true update might help everyone with Sarah Stelzner too as our posts have been more emotionally based..
First off we love u all and are thankful for the support!
Sarah's body is broken from the cancer and from the treatments.. even if the treatments where working she could not do them because she is so worn down. Her cancer was more aggressive than most the doctors have seen from ovarian cancer and other cancers. It seems to still mainly be confined to her liver but it is wrecking other things for her body as well.
So at this point we are hoping to get home as soon as they will allow. Hospice is coming today to meet with me and discuss options.
I would much rather she spend the remaining time she has in her families care and her own cozy bed..
Many more posts to come..
Love the Stelzners

As I put this post up, Sarah continues to rest at home in the comfort of her own bed, with her family providing her care and surrounding her with love. As additional updates become available we will send them out.

Thank you all for being part of Sarah's journey! We are truly grateful for all of the love and support.

Sincerely,
Susan
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Team #SarahStrong,

We realize that it has been a few weeks since we provided the team an update.

As I type, Sarah is headed in for her 4th infusion (end of round 2) out of 6 infusions they will do before completing another CT scan to gauge effectiveness of these new meds. This chemo regimen has much tougher on her body than the last. In part, it is simply due to her body being tired after accepting all of these chemo drugs over these last 9 months but also because this drug combo is known to have some harsher side effects. Sarah is battling nausea and vomiting throughout the day, extreme fatigue and muscle/bone pain. To be honest, most days her bed is her best friend and that is a-ok. She is listening to her body and that is all that we ask as her support team. Don't worry though, when we see an opening, we push her to do a little more! At the beginning of this regimen she was able to make it to the Connors Clinic a couple times and hopes to get back there next week when the weather is nicer and she is over the post infusion slump (as I call it...this is the influx of side effects that happen when the pre-meds they give you at chemo wear off after those first 24 hours following infusion). Overall, she continues to remain focused and determined to push through everything that is coming her way. She is truly greatful for all of the support and couldn't do it without all of you on Team #SarahStrong! No matter where you are, she feels the support you are sending each and every day!!

Many people continue to ask how they can help Sarah & her family. Positive thoughts & prayers are always appreciated, if you are interested in a direct gift you can donate through this site or send gift cards to Kwik Trip or Casey's. These are great to help offset the constant travel to Mayo for treatments. Lastly, envelopes/packages through the mail definitely brighten her days.... cards, pictures, coloring pages/crafts (from kids) or small gifts help to break up the monotonous days.


Susan
Team #SarahStrong
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A new update from Sarah...

Well update time. I got my scan Tuesday and it wasn’t good. The cancer is growing again on my liver. It stopped responding to the chemo I was on. So what does that mean? I will start another series of chemo however this time the chance of it working went from 80% to 20%. So we pray that I am in that 20%. I also am increasing the number of times I go to my alternative clinic each week for their treatments too. This is sad, this is hard and it sucks. The reality that I may die soon is very real. I talked to Bryan last night and shared that the cancer was growing and what that meant. He cried, I cried and I ended up rocking my “bigger than me” 11 year old to sleep. It was bittersweet. So special to hug him and love him at the same time so painful to see him hurting so badly.
We are not giving up yet. We know we serve a big God and he has the power to heal. People are asking what we need in light of this news. I feel like we are so blessed it’s hard to come up with things we need but here you go:
*We need prayers. Prayers that we can enjoy each day we have together. Prayers that we can see the light through this storm. Prayers that we can work through our anger and not that consume us. Prayers that Mike and I can keep it normal for the boys for as long as we can.
*We need tissues and lots of them. We emptied a few boxes yesterday!
*We could use gift cards for gas (Kwik Trip, Casey’s, Hy-Vee) as we are traveling to Mayo multiple times and to the Conner’s Clinic in the cities a few times a week.
* We don’t really need meals cause we eat organic. We do shop online at Hy-Vee and Amazon for most things we need. It’s way easier and for me it’s the highlight of my day to open packages.
*This kids love mail and little special surprises. If you wanted to drop them a note in the mail, send them joke, or a riddle or maze. They love those things.
Keep praying, keep riding the roller coaster with us and hopefully it will end soon with us all getting off together!
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$25,503 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 272 people in 12 months
Created June 27, 2018
Susan Bartlett
on behalf of Mike Stelzner
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