New Wife and Mother Beat Deadliest Brain Cancer
Given just months to live in 2006, a 32-year-old Arizona woman has amazingly beat two brain tumors, outlived her projected life expectancy and recently became a mother – all things no one ever thought imaginable.
When diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma brain tumor, the deadliest of brain cancers, in 2006, Heather Knies was facing a death sentence. Most people with her type of tumor – the same type of brain tumor Senator Edward Kennedy died from – don’t live past 14 months. Knies not only beat her cancer but she has gotten married and recently became a mom to her daughter Zoe, who is 7-months-old. Knies’ incredible outcome has shocked the medical community.
“It is very rare for a patient to survive as long as Heather has with this type of brain tumor. I am very, very surprised and elated that Heather has made such a remarkable recovery,” says her surgeon Robert Spetzler, MD, director of Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and who is credited as being one of the world’s top brain surgeons.
|Heather Knies pictured with her husband, Joe, and daughter, Zoe
Diagnosed and treated for a lower grade brain tumor in 2005, Knies knew the likelihood of her tumor recurring and transforming into a more aggressive form of cancer. When her cancer returned one year later, she underwent an aggressive surgery at Barrow in Phoenix where Dr. Spetzler removed as much of the tumor as possible. She then underwent radiation and nearly three years of chemotherapy under the direction of Lynn Ashby, MD
, neuro-oncologist at Barrow, to eliminate the remainder of the tumor. Knies believes that the advanced medical treatment she received along with her unbelievable positivity is what made her overcome her brain tumor.
“I knew all along I would beat this cancer,” says Knies. “When a doctor tells you that you only have a few months to live, most people believe it. I never did and I think that’s partly why I’m alive today. I knew I was getting the best medical care and I was going to be defiant and survive.”
Knies and her husband recently welcomed their baby, Zoe, who celebrated her first Christmas in December.
“I shouldn’t be alive but instead I’ve been given my life, my husband and my baby,” says Knies. “I thank God and my doctors at Barrow every morning.”