Young Mother Starts Cancer Battle

A young mother begins her fight against cancer after the birth of her daughter at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln.

Madeline or “Maddy” came into this world seven weeks early so her mother would have more time to fight for her own life.

Alisha Steen of Lincoln says, “A lot of hope and faith that treatments, radiation and the trial vaccine are going to work.”

As Channel Six News first reported , Alisha suffered a stroke which led to the discovery of advanced melanoma and tumors near her brain and spine.

After her baby was delivered by C-section, Alisha began a series of intense radiation treatments performed by a robotic device called a Cyberknife. It can aim beams of radiation from 119 angles.

Radiation Oncologist Dr. Dina Howell-Burke of St. Elizabeth says, “We have a strong chance of reducing it. We have an even stronger chance it does not grow and cause more damage and stroke affects.”

Alisha must undergo three treatments for the spine and three for the brain tumor.

Her attitude is part of the treatment. Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Gelber says, “There’s no question the patient who has an upbeat outlook and has confidence in physicians taking care of her is quite likely to do better.”

Alisha says that’s the attitude she’ll pass on to her daughter.
She says, “I would tell her life isn’t always fair, it’s a struggle but you got to do it, keep positive."

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