BP teen cancer survivor honored at Dodge Relay for Life
Blooming Prairie High School student Madelaine Stoen talked briefly to those attending last Friday’s Dodge County Relay for Life activities about her experiences as a cancer survivor.
Stoen, the daughter of Amy and Randy Stoen, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, an extremely rare type of cancer in her face when she was a toddler. As a 3-year-old, she didn’t remember a lot of details of the early days of her cancer but she explained that the diagnosis was followed by radiation treatments and she is still feeling the effects of those treatments.
A cancer survivor for 11 years, she said, she recently underwent a series of treatments in a hyperbaric chamber. Because of the radiation treatments her jaw did not develop properly and her permanent teeth will not stay in. The hyperbaric treatment was done in hopes it will help her develop more blood vessels so her upper jaw can hold implants.
She explained she and her family have received incredible support from family and friends and others in Blooming Prairie, Owatonna and Claremont, and she asked several of her friends to join her onstage as she told her story.
She also said that she is trying to give back by raising funds for cancer research. She has done this by making such things as key chains, bracelets, dish clothes and hot pads and also has had her hair cut twice for Locks of Love. She also has spearheaded two book drives to buy books for the 16th floor of the Mayo Clinic for the children with cancer and other illnesses.
Dodge County held its annual Relay for Life event last Friday night at the Dodge County Fairgrounds.
Also recognized was Jenny Steffes as the 2019 Caregiver of the Year. Steffes was diagnosed in April with a brain tumor and is currently receiving treatment.