Happy 10th to Sandy Hempel!

Woman poses for photo

Sandy Hempel, M.Ed, a member of the UC Brain Tumor Center’s Community Advisory Board, marks a significant milestone today: the 10th anniversary of her diagnosis of a grade II astrocytoma.

Ms. Hempel’s tumor was a type of glioma, a tumor that originates in the glial cells in the brain or spinal cord. Although slow-growing and not imminently threatening, it was dangerously close to the motor strip in Ms. Hempel’s brain and had to be eradicated. Neurosurgeon Ronald Warnick, MD, Medical Director of the UC Brain Tumor Center, and Radiation Oncologist John Breneman, MD, the Brain Tumor Center’s Associate Director, mapped out a treatment strategy that involved eradicating the tumor with a 28-day course of targeted beams of radiation at the UC Barrett Cancer Center. The treatment preserved Ms. Hempel’s verbal and motor skills as well as her life.

Sandy’s tumor recurred in 2010, and once again she and her doctors fought back. This time her regimen involved a 14-month course of chemotherapy, with a cyclical routine that called for 5 days of Temodar, followed by 23 days off. Her surveillance schedule is the same as before: an MRI every 3 to 4 months.

The mother of two children, Ms. Hempel is the Project SEARCH Coordinator/Otterbein Lebanon at the Warren County Career Center. As a member of the Brain Tumor Center’s Community Advisory Board, Ms. Hempel has assisted with the annual wine tasting fundraiser and is an avid participant in the Walk Ahead for a Brain Tumor Cure 5k. Both events raise funds for research into treatments for brain tumors.

Ms. Hempel also has volunteered as a mentor to new families affected by brain tumors, and she is immersed in the Advisory Board’s patient advocacy committee, which is working to enhance the experience of patients who are treated at the Brain Tumor Center.

The physicians, managers and staff at the UC Brain Tumor Center and the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute extend their very best wishes to Sandy Hempel on this memorable day.

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