For Renee Heagle, at only 32, a brain tumor was the furthest thing from her mind when she started experiencing headaches, mood changes, and minor difficulties with speech. Each minor symptom could easily be explained away a dozen different way. However, in the early morning of January 12th, Renee experienced several unexpected and terrifying seizures. As her husband Mat and 12 year old son Caden, tried desperately to help her, they will forever carry the memories of those agonizing minutes of helplessness before the paramedics arrived. That morning Renee’s life changed forever.
Renee led a full and busy life. As well as being a wife and mother, Renee worked at Weddington Dentistry as a dental hygienist. On her off time she enjoyed working out, hanging out at the lake with her friends and cherished time with her family most of all. Her and her husband were looking forward to expanding their family and they had just recently adopted their sweet puppy, Boomer. No one could have imagined the difficult journey that laid ahead.
At the hospital Renee was told that she had a fist size tumor on her frontal left lobe. She was told that surgery needed to be performed immediately and that there was a good chance the tumor was malignant. In the two weeks that followed, friends and family poured in from all over the country. To say Renee is loved fiercely would be an understatement. And while this news may have been earth shattering to most of us, Renee has handled everything with grace, faith, strength and humor. She makes everyone around her laugh and has done as much comforting as she has been comforted. Her bravery has shown us all what we already knew, Renee is definitely the toughest girl we know.
Renee had surgery on February 2nd and the surgeons were very optimistic with how well the surgery went. Although she was told to expect paralysis in her right leg, she was up walking only hours after surgery. We were all praying continuously for a miracle and were broken hearted when pathology confirmed that it was, indeed, brain cancer. On February 14th, Renee was diagnosed with Anaplastic Astrocytoma Grade 3. She will soon undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Renee’s main goal is to complete treatment, so she is able to return to the life she loved. Even in the midst of the shock Renee remains steadfast in her faith and is humbled by all the support she has received. Renee’s main concern continues to be her son, husband, family and friends. She is an inspiration to all of us to “fight the good fight”.
Written by Christine Cornell
Imagine being a woman and at the height of health. Regular exercise through running and with a trainer - check! Eat right - check! Brain cancer...(insert sound of screeching breaks!) That's what happened to Angela Lane. Angela lives in the Denver area and works in Huntersville with her business as a CPA. Early in September 2015, she started noticing issues seeing the numbers with which she was working. Numbers would "disappear" off the end. Then the migraines started. At the insistence of friends and family, she finally went to the doctor. Angela Lane, a picture of health, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. And if GBM wasn't enough, in August 2016, Angela was diagnosed to be in the early stages of breast cancer. Yeah...
And she still smiles. She might cry sometimes but she is a fighter. She is optimistic. The breast cancer is gone. There is a plan for what's next with Duke. She goes to work most days. She has fun with friends. She sometimes reluctantly lets her daughter help her find things in her closet. She is a mom, a friend, a neighbor. Most importantly, through all of this, she is fighting the good fight!
On July 29, 2015, Scott Treon, an active part of the Huntersville Community through his church and his position with the Huntersville Parks & Rec department, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme. For some time, Scott had experienced headaches, confusion and difficulty in speech. A tumor was found in his left frontal lobe and surgery was performed, removing the tumor. With time and treatments, Scott returned to work, exercise and some normal routine with his wife, Lenae, and their three very active daughters. In January of 2016, a second tumor was found and Scott was admitted into a brand new clinical trial at Duke University, hoping to find a cure for himself but unselfishly knowing what laid ahead might not be a cure for him but for others. Scott continued to push forward and work hard to overcome the cancer. On May 22, the day after the 2016 race, Scott was again admitted to Duke for a second brain surgery to remove that tumor.
Unfortunately for those who loved him dearly, Scott’s body succumbed to his battle with GBM on September 5, 2016. He did not lose, though. In his own words, “Cancer did not beat me. I have reached the finish line. Heaven is the finish line. Heaven is the prize.” 2 Timothy 4:7 was Scott’s drive, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Linda and Michel Garcia, along with their 2 children, arrived in Huntersville in October of 2011 from Miami, FL. They established themselves in our community and, of course, in our hearts. In February of 2012, shortly after their relocation to Huntersville, Michel was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade IV Cancer. This form of brain cancer, one of the most malignant, has a 5% survival rate. Michel had been suffering from symptoms including headaches, seizures, difficulty in speech, and comprehension. In addition to the original tumor, a new one was found in the frontal lobe in 2014. Despite this grave prognosis, Michel worked hard to fight these odds. Always with a smile on his face, he greeted his friends at Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics (HFFA) every day. The Garcia's strong faith, support from friends and family, and a will to live keeps this wonderful family going every day. In Michel’s own words, "Life is what pushes me".
Michel passed from this life on July 29, 2014.
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