Stephanie Lipscomb was a 20-year-old nursing student when she began to get headaches. After a trip to the hospital, Stephanie was hit with unthinkable news that would forever change the course of her life. Although it was difficult for her to process, she was diagnosed with glioblastoma — a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. With a ton of radiation and chemotherapy, she was able to remove 98 percent of the tumor. Things looked good, until they didn’t.
The cancer came back. There were no options except for an experimental treatment that had never been tried on a human before. Doctors would inject Lipscomb’s brain with polio. She and her mom agreed that with death looming, she had nothing left to lose.
“In point of fact, we didn’t know what the polio was gonna do. We thought the polio virus might help her. We had no idea what it would do in the long haul. It was a crap shoot. It’s roll the dice and hope that you’re gonna get an answer that is coming up sevens and not coming up snake eyes,” said Dr. Henry Friedman.
The bizarre treatment worked. The polio began to kill the cancer which kickstarted the immune system to do the rest of the work. The brain tumor shrank over the course of 21 months until it was completely gone. Doctors see no cancer in her MRI, only a remaining hole from a previous surgery. It was a miracle.
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