She teaches Body Pump at a gym in town, she takes Cross Fit, and after years of battling weight loss, she was at her fittest the night of May 31st, 2011, having lost nearly 100 pounds! But that night everything would change.
At 1:30 AM on June 1st, I was awakened by kicking and some weird noises. I thought Natalie was just having a bad dream, but when I realized she was unresponsive, I turned on the light to find her in the middle of a seizure. She stopped breathing, and I had to perform CPR as I was on the phone with 9-1-1, and luckily they showed up within five minutes. She had one more seizure in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The hospital had no doctor on staff that could help her, so they transferred her to The Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth where they have a Neuro-ICU. Several scans confirmed her diagnosis:
BRAIN CANCER (Oligoastrocytoma to be exact)
Her surgeon was able to get 30% of the tumor out during her surgery, and we scheduled radiation with Dr. Jerry Barker, Jr., at Texas Oncology in Fort Worth. We also found an absolutely amazing Neuro-Oncologist at Baylor Hospital in Dallas, Dr. Karen Fink. We did six weeks of radiation and chemo, and once we finished that round, Dr. Fink put her on 18 months of chemo. Natalie finished her chemo in February of 2012 after no change for several months. We are in the midst of monitoring the tumor every three months.
Natalie has been an amazing inspiration to those around her, including me. I am honored to be her husband. She was even back taking Body Pump with staples still in her head! While our fight is still going on, our God is bigger and stronger than our circumstances. Natalie has a favorite Bible verse right now, Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Our God lifts weights!
We are excited to be a part of Brain Power 5K and the Dr. Marnie Rose Foundation, and to be able to help others that are going through the same things we are going through.