2010 Crusaders


Jennifer Probst


Hi, my name is Jennifer Probst and I AM a survivor! Let me tell you a little about myself and my journey with cancer.

On February 24th 2010, I was diagnose with Stage 1 invasive ductal carcinoma. Basically Breast Cancer. This is news you never want to hear!

Three years ago I had genetic testing done to see if I had a gene mutation. I have a strong family history. My mom is a 3 time survivor of cancer, my Dad’s sister and mother both passed away from breast cancer, so testing is something I really wanted done. My mom and I both found out that we had the BRCA1 gene mutation which basically means that our body has a glitch in it that doesn’t clean out the bad cells so they can start to grow.

Since I knew this information I started going to an oncologist every 6 months. It was the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. They were able to catch the cancer early enough that it did not go into the lymph nodes. On March 30 I went in for my double mastectomy and starting reconstruction. After finding out the pathology report we were told it was a grade 3 tumor and was 2 cm. We also found out that it was Triple Negative, meaning no hormone replacement therapies would help. The only way to treat this type is through chemotherapy. I have been enduring 8 rounds of chemo every two weeks starting in May. Wow, a lot of information to process in one month! I will forever be watched by an oncologist for the rest of my life.

I am a 34 year old wife, mom, daycare provider and I also have a home baking business. I will be married for 10 year September 23 to my wonderful supportive husband Keith Probst. He has truly been my rock through this entire journey. We have three children. Madison (8), Allison (6), and Matthew (4). I think one of the hardest things about this journey was having to tell our 3 children. Nothing can prepare a parent for that. I have been doing daycare for the past 6 years and truly enjoy it. It has been hard on my daycare kids as well. They don’t always understand why Jenn is tired.

This journey has been a difficult one. We have struggled physically, mentally and financially. I have had to cut down on hours I have daycare and my baking business is very slow right now. The strain of having to travel to Sioux Falls for treatments and doctors appointments have not helped either. Over the past several months we have just had to make the best of what we have. We live one day at a time. Our faith in God has carried us through as well as our supportive church family, family, friends and neighbors.

“For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 I’m doing very well. I keep going to my scheduled appointments every 4 months but all looks good. We were able to take a vacation this year to the Black Hills. We went with my parents for a week. We had a great time. Once in a lifetime memories. Hopefully some day we can take another vacation.

Recently I have started a new job. I am no longer a daycare provider. In August of this year I started working for MOC-FV Middle school. I am an Office Assistant. I absolutely love my job. It is great hours being from 8am – 2pm. I am home when my kids are home and the summers off. It is great. I continue to stay very busy with our baking business as well.


Kelli Schoney


My name is Kelli, and I’d like to introduce myself. I am a believer in Christ. It is my joy to be a wife and my desire to be a mom. I love teaching piano. I hate doing dishes. I struggle to be patient. My dog is snuggly, but barks a lot. I like to knit and read. I love traveling. To say that I don’t like to be defined by cancer is an understatement. And I think life can be a pretty big adventure.

To tell you a little more about my personal life, my husband and I spent 3 years trying for children, and in December of 2009 we decided that we needed a break from infertility treatments, and wanted to start pursuing adopting children, since we had always wanted a blend of biological and adopted children anyway. Imagine our surprise when on January 6, 2010, I got the phone call, saying that I had breast cancer! To my immense comfort, I knew that God was not surprised, but even so, it has been a difficult journey.

I have been through a double biopsy, 2 surgeries, 8 grueling rounds of chemo, gave myself 35 shots, and had 33 radiation treatments. I experienced intense reactions to most of my treatments, which made 2010 the most painful year of my life physically.

Emotionally, it was also a difficult time. It’s hard to feel beautiful when I’m bald. It’s hard to feel capable of living life to the fullest when I don’t have the energy to get off the couch for days on end. I have had to learn to accept help when I want to be self sufficient, admit I need rest when I want to feel invincible, and learn to trust God when nothing makes sense.

In some ways, the experiences of the past few years have been very difficult. But they have also helped us focus on what really matters, and to define what is most important to us. Through our trials, we have found that God is enough. Through our heartache, we have learned to trust. And in our blessings, we have found a new depth of gratitude and thankfulness.

UPDATE:

I’ve passed my 2 year mark as a survivor, and I’m THRILLED! Life has changed so much, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thankful.

I’m excited to say that my eyelashes, eyebrows, and hair have all returned, but the cancer has STAYED AWAY! My doctors are enthusiastic about my health, and expect all good things for me.

Life has completely changed for us – in the last year, we have become a family of four! We adopted 2 kids this past year – Isaac, who will soon be 7, and Andy, who will soon be 9. We are so grateful to God for sending children to us to love and care for, and thank Him everyday for all the blessings He has given to us!


Marilyn Kay Simons Hoy


In February 1997, Marilyn saw a lump on her breast. Tests were run and surgery was set for March 19. This was a typical start for what would be a 13-year battle with cancer. Marilyn Kay Simons Hoy was born on November 4, 1963. She was a cheerleader all four years in high school. After she graduated from Dexfield High School in 1982, she joined the Army. On May 21, 1994, she married Randy Hoy of Redfield, and together, they raised Nathan (26), and their two daughters, Rachel (14) and Katherine (10).

Five years after ending her first bout with breast cancer, Marilyn returned to her oncologist after blood tests showed the cancer was back. In November 2002, it was discovered that it had spread to her bones and liver. More rounds of chemo; hair loss again. In fact, from that time until the time of her death, Marilyn had some form of chemo almost every week.

While driving to see her oncologist on December 15, 2005, Marilyn had a GranMal seizure and a brain tumor was discovered. More rounds of radiation and more hair loss, this time permanent. In 2007, the cancer on her spine had become much more active and they spotted a small shadow on her lung assumed to be cancer. Late in 2009, she had another brain tumor. She received radiation for pain on both hips, her back, one knee and most recently, a cracked bone in her arm. She began using a cane that fall and eventually graduated to a wheelchair by May 2010.

Marilyn loved the Dallas County Fair and attended every day this year until she was hospitalized on July 9th. She hated to have someone push her wheelchair, so she borrowed an electric wheelchair from a friend so she could be more independent. After returning home on July 13th, she was hospitalized again the next week and passed away on July 18.

Marilyn fought hard and never gave up the dream of seeing her daughters graduate from high school. She will still be with them, but she will have the “best seat’ in the house! I don’t think any mother could have been more proud of their children than she was. She will be missed by everyone who knew her; she touched many lives, whether for a brief moment, or a lifetime.