The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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June 16, 2000 Issue
Local News

Baby coming despite battles

Surrounded by love in troubles, pair awaits birth

By Linda DeVries
Compass Correspondent

Jodi Schott of Greenleaf has had two major battles in her 29 years. The first was infertility caused by endometreosis, the overgrowth of the lining of the uterus, which prevented Jodi and her husband of six years, Steve, from having children.

"Then, after two surgeries for endometriosis, I finally got pregnant," said Jodi. "We found out last November."

Just as they were rejoicing in the news of her pregnancy, the second battle began.

In January, Jodi became ill. It was so difficult for her to breathe that she was hospitalized. Doctors found that an eight-inch tumor in her chest cavity had caused a build-up of fluid around her heart and lungs.

A biopsy showed the fast-growing tumor to be B-cell lymphoma. The tumor couldn't be removed because of its location near vital organs, so Jodi began a series of chemotherapy treatments. She has completed five treatments so far and has three to go.

"The baby's doing great," Jodi said. "They keep monitoring her -- we know it's a girl -- and she's right on schedule in her development. I'm due July 25, and I'll probably carry her to full term. The drug they're using won't affect the baby. It could have caused a miscarriage, but it didn't, so we're really thankful."

Jodi credits her husband, Steve, her family, and her parish with giving her a lot of support.

"We have a new perspective on life," says Steve. "It makes you step back and be thankful for what you do have, like the support we've gotten from our church, family, and friends. It means a lot. We wish we didn't have [cancer], but it's brought out good in a lot of ways.

One of those good ways was a recent baby shower, given for Jodi by their parish, St. Mary of Glenmore/Stark.

"It was kind of scary when we found out Jodi had cancer," said Fr. Lee Kahrs, pastor. "They had tried for so long to have a baby, and she was finally pregnant. But she is a very positive person. Another woman in our parish has beaten cancer twice, and she and Jodi have talked about it. This is a small parish, but lots of thoughts and prayers are with Jodi. We maintain a sense of hope."

Jodi and Steve appreciate the prayers and help. "It's great how the community comes together when something happens," said Jodi. "It was very nice."

When Jodi goes into St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay for chemotherapy, she spends her time talking with other people who are also undergoing cancer treatment.

"I have a positive attitude," she said, "and I try to help other people think positive, too. I've never blamed God for giving me cancer."

Steve says the hospital visits have given them an appreciation of "the time and effort medical people put in. We're so grateful. Also, now when we hear of someone who has cancer or a serious illness, we take time to pray for them."

For now, things are looking good and Jodi says the tumor is shrinking. "We're looking forward to having our baby in July," she said.

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