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a loved one to sarcoma.
Miranda Mead was flying through life, a busy student at Wayzata High School who played in the band and was at fifteen a rising cross country running star. Then in the fall of 2015 Sarcoma inserted a speed bump into her life. She noticed that her times were slowing down on her cross country races and pain in her back increased. She thought the pain was coming from a fall she'd had in April. Month after month the pain increased. She made several trips to the chiropractor. Then she began to experience numbness in her leg and foot.
At that point she had an MRI that showed a tumor at the base of her spine. Additional tests revealed that Miranda had Ewing Sarcoma. Unfortunately, this is a typical story for sarcoma patients, months of symptoms before the diagnosis is definitive and treatment begins. With awareness this time could be shortened giving the tumor less time to grow.
Miranda immediately began fighting sarcoma with the same determination and resilience that she had for her running, band, and school work. The day after receiving her diagnosis and two days after her sixteenth birthday, Miranda began receiving chemotherapy at Children's Hospital. She was on a rigorous schedule of chemo every two weeks - five days of chemo, nine days off, then two days of chemo, 12 days off, and repeat. Five days after starting chemo her pain went away. However, she experienced all of the challenges of chemo (hair loss, lethargy, and all the other effects). In February 2016 she underwent six weeks of proton beam therapy at the Mayo Clinic, which was followed by more chemo.
Miranda had the support of her school community. The cross country team and coaches supported her by selling “Team Miranda" Hats. She received her letter in Cross Country. Her friends also enlivened her hospital stays with their visits. Her story attracted support from the wider running community. Carrie Tollefson, a US Olympic runner, surprised Miranda with a visit to the hospital. After her mother, Julie contacted RIS, two Ewing Sarcoma survivors were in touch with Miranda, including Natalie Wolf, a four year survivor who graduated from Wayzata High School.
All of this support encouraged Miranda by keeping the focus on Miranda as the exceptional person she is, rather than letting Sarcoma take over her life. She even squeezed in getting her driver’s license, a very important milestone in any teenager’s life.
Miranda and her family are determined to use her experience to raise awareness about sarcoma. She has been featured in Runners World, the Sailor Sun Newspaper and CBS Local News (WCCO). She has given talks for Children’s Hospital. Awareness saves lives. Miranda became a national spokesperson for Truth 365 and increased her work on behalf of Rein in Sarcoma including getting Wayzata High School to actively support our mission. Miranda and her family also established the RIS Miranda Mead Named Fund. Find out more about RIS Named Funds. You can support the Miranda Mead RIS Named Fund, using our secure online donation form, - simply choose Miranda Mead under the Named Fund drop down menu.