CORNWALL, Ontario - Stephanie Grady is in the fight of her life – but if the early returns are any indication, the cancer that is ravaging her body is also in for a battle.
Community support for the t. Lawrence Secondary School teacher and mother of three has been nothing short of amazing.
Social media has been alive with posts and updates concerning her condition, a rare form of cancer known as with NUT midline carcinoma, an aggressive disease that has spawned tumours along the centre of her body.
The disease has advanced to the point that her hips, pelvis and leg has become affected.
Doctors have pronounced her condition incurable – but don’t tell that to an army of supporters who have rallied Grady and her husband Nick.
“She is one of the most humble, kind and giving individuals I have ever met,” said Heather Lisney, a Brockville teacher that is co-ordinating fundraising work for the family. “She is warm, nurturing and
hard-working. She is also a fighter. Team Grady is rallying together to give her hope and to support her
family in this fight.”
To that end Team Grady has created We’re NUT Givin’ Up fundraising campaign to help the 32-year-old teacher, which will involve everything from volleyball tournaments to pub night socials. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to send the Long Sault resident for experimental treatments at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass.
“Through this fundraiser we can bring Stephanie hope,” said Lisney. “Harvard is working with new treatments that are showing promise and we’re going to raise the money to help Stephanie find her cure.”
Harvard researchers at the International NUT Midline Carcinoma Registry are using a new drug that has been shown to shrink, and even stop, NUT midline tumour growth in human tissue.
The first clinical trial began last month in various centres in the United States. Grady is now eligible
to receive a series of drug trial treatments at the institute. Stephanie and Nick will be making their
first trip to Boston later this month for preliminary testing, with the first treatment date scheduled for the end of the month.
Many subsequent treatments are to follow, with dates still to be determined.
A committee of teachers and other volunteers from across eastern Ontario have joined together to
coordinate the fundraising campaign, which will also include mail-outs to area businesses and other
benefactors across the region.
“We’re asking the public not only to help Stephanie, but the success of these trials could bring hope to
many others across the world,” said Lisney. “ We’ve seen it with other forms of this disease. Cancer can
be beaten. It will be. Please, join Team Grady and dig deep to support these initiatives.”
Information, participation and donation options can be found at www.gradyfund.com
Social media updates can be found at facebook.com/werenutgivinup, as well as @NUTGivinUp.
Fundraising events planned include:
• Ongoing 50/50 draws and a major raffle featuring an NHL escape package.
• The Moose Creek 4-on-4 Hockey Tournament and Benefit Social on February 22.
• A Co-ed Basketball Tournament at Rothwell-Osnabruck School on March 22.
• A Pub Night Social and Silent Auction with live entertainment in Long Sault on March 22.
• A Co-ed Recreational & Competitive Volleyball Tournament at Brockville Collegiate Institute and
Thousand Islands Secondary School on March 29.
• A 12-team hockey tournament in Finch April 11-13
• A five-kilometre staff/student and community race in Cornwall May 4.