Kidney donor Traci Settlemyre facing grim brain cancer diagnosis

Published: Nov. 21, 2019 at 4:56 PM EST
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(11/21/2019) - "I'm not worried about it," Traci Settlemyre said.

That's not everyone's reaction to learning they have stage 4 brain cancer.

The Owosso woman received the diagnosis in July. She had a seizure at home and her husband Gordan rushed her to the hospital.

Settlemyre's tumor is inoperable, so she's currently undergoing an experimental treatment in a new clinical trial.

"It's supposed to interrupt the cancer cells and help kill cancer cells," she explained. "And, our doctor did say that one lady was cancer free from it."

Settlemyre is positive she'll be the second.

Her incredible attitude is difficult to comprehend when you look at her situation. The tumor has attacked the left side of her brain, so Settlemyre is beginning to lose mobility on her right side.

"What's stress gonna do? Stress is just gonna make me scared and cry and I choose not to do that," she said.

But it begs the question -- why her?

She's spent more than a decade serving her Shiawassee County community as an EMT. And, Settlemyre even helped save someone's life by donating a kidney 2 years ago.

"I was devastated," Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian BeGole said. "She's a wonderful, giving person and anybody, obviously, who's willing to give the gift of life, like that, it's just so tragic to hear that she is struck by this cancer."

Sheriff BeGole will forever be thankful Settlemyre stepped up to save his friend, Troy Gorden's, life. He's vowing to help her family in any way he can.

"It's very, very upsetting," he said. "She's certainly given back to other people and now it's time to give to her."

"I'm just thankful for everything everybody does. It's mind-blowing," Settlemyre said. "Everyday it's something somebody else has done or is going to do and it's just awesome."

Troy Gorden recently returned to the hospital because the kidney Settlemyre donated failed. So the two are frequently back together, just a floor or two apart, when Settlemyre goes in for treatment.

For information on an upcoming fundraiser to help Settlemyre's family handle her medical bills, click on the 'Related Links' section of this story.

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