Sarah Wolfe: A Recent College Graduate's Story of Strength and Perseverance.

 

 

                  “The more people that I can help who are fighting cancer, the happier I will be. I was put into a difficult situation that I had no control over, but I will make the most of it by helping others through it. God wouldn't have put me into this situation if I couldn't handle it and I am strong enough to use this to make a difference. I believe that is the reason why I have brain cancer; to give hope to those who have given up and to show everyone that being diagnosed with cancer does not mean that your life is over.” –Sarah Wolfe.

                      Sarah is a 22-year-old woman from Maryland who has been recently diagnosed with a Stage 4 Glioblastoma Astrocytoma. She is a fighter and an inspiration to all those who are facing difficult battles..

                      In May of 2013, Sarah was experiencing excruciating headaches while studying for her final exams. At first, she assumed the headaches were from studying for the exams and the normal anxiety that accompanies this period in a college student’s life. As the headaches grew more intense and she started vomiting, she drove to her local doctor on May 8th. The doctor believed she could have Meningitis and sent Sarah to the emergency room. Once she arrived in the E.R., she waited almost 8 hours. She was throwing up every 30 minutes. The hospital staff ordered her a CT exam before they performed a spinal tap to test for Meningitis. The CT scan revealed a large mass in her right frontal lobe. The doctors at the local emergency room rushed her to Johns Hopkins..

                      Sarah arrived at Johns Hopkins around 3 a.m. on May 9th. Dr. Quinones performed neurosurgery on Sarah the same day, and thankfully was able to remove 100% of her tumor from the frontal brain. When Sarah was first told that she had a tumor, her head hurt so much that she just wanted the tumor to be removed for the pain to end. Before Sarah had even woken up from the surgery, Sarah’s parents, Cynthia and David, her siblings, Jessica and Derrick, and her boyfriend, Chas, were given the news that her tumor was cancerous.

                      Before being diagnosed with brain cancer, Sarah was gearing up to graduate from Towson University; majoring in Business Administration and having a dual concentration in Management and Human Resources. She was not about to let cancer get in the way of her achieving her dreams and having the opportunity to walk across the stage at Commencement, a moment that she had worked so hard for. Only two weeks after receiving brain surgery, Sarah graduated from college with the rest of her classmates on May 22nd.

                      Following the successful removal of the tumor, Sarah underwent one month of intensive chemotherapy and radiation. She went to radiation every day Monday through Friday and took a chemotherapy pill one hour before each radiation treatment. These treatments were grueling, often leaving her exhausted.

                      Sarah is currently taking some time to focus on restoring her health but is excited to enter the work force. She also wants to get a Masters Degree in Business Administration next year. She is interested in pursuing a job in Homeland Security or Emergency Management. Even though she feels as though cancer struck at the most inopportune time, she is optimistically looking forward to a future filled with much success.

                      Not willing to let brain cancer or her treatments hold her back, Sarah is determined to stay active and healthy. She has joined a kickball team and has signed up with her sister, Jessica, for kickboxing classes, since they are both already black belts in Tae Kwon Do. Sarah is also using her modeling experience to help raise awareness for brain cancer. While many women might have reservations about having no hair, Sarah is proud of all the obstacles she has overcome and uses her hair loss as a way to help raise awareness and gain support for brain cancer.

                      To others who may be going through a brain cancer diagnosis and treatments, Sarah offers the advice to “Never give up and ignore the statistics, as they do not focus on each person individually. It is just a matter of time before a cure is found. Keep living your life and do not let cancer hold you back from doing so.” Sarah is very thankful for Doctor Quinones and the other amazing doctors that saved her life, for the support from her family and boyfriend, and to all of the people around the world who are praying for her recovery.

                      Within the last five months, Sarah has been diagnosed with brain cancer, underwent neurosurgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, graduated from college, started playing kickball and taking Martial Arts lessons, became an advocate for brain cancer research, celebrated her 22nd birthday, and all around kicked cancer to the curb. She is a strong, powerful and driven young woman who is ready to tackle whatever life challenges head her way, all while having a positive outlook. We could all learn something from this remarkable young woman.

                      Written by Alexandra Larsen