Sarcoma Story: Lora Holmquist

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Type of Sarcoma: Epithelioid Sarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: 2005
Location: leg

In August of 2005, life was good for Jeff and Lora Holmquist. High School sweethearts, they had been married for ten years. Living in Baldwin, Wisconsin, Jeff’s career in the retail car business was going well, and Lora was enjoying her job as a dental assistant. Besides work, they were busy raising their two pre-teen sons, Devin and Jordan. When Lora suddenly discovered a lump on the inside of her right leg, her family physician was not sure what it was but assured her “it is not a tumor,” and recommended Jeff and Lora take the Las Vegas vacation they were planning. After returning from Vegas and hoping for more clarity, Lora saw a specialist at Regions Hospital, who also was unable to provide a diagnosis.

Tests at the University of Minnesota Medical Center and Mayo Clinic finally led to a diagnosis – epithelioid sarcoma, which accounts for less than 1% of all soft tissue sarcomas. In September, Lora started on chemotherapy and radiation. Initial results in October were good; the tumor was shrinking. But in December, Lora became very ill. She was scheduled for surgery in January, but her December tests indicated that the cancer had rapidly spread, and Lora was placed in hospice care.

Earlier that fall, Lora’s “dream house” came up for sale in Baldwin. The Holmquists moved into their new home in December. Lora passed away in January of 2006. While only for a month, Jeff was very pleased that Lora got to spend her final days in her dream home.

When asked to describe Lora, Jeff offers these words: “Amazing. Great wife and mother.”

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