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One Mother’s Brave Fight Against Cancer To Be There For Her Child

To the very last moments of her life, Stephanie Turner refused to be defined as anything other than a supportive, loving mother. After battling breast cancer for five years and ultimately seeing it spread to her liver, the 47-year-old mother of three was given a grim diagnosis in late October 2015: she had just a few days left to live. With her daughter's championship soccer game still two weeks away at the time, Stephanie simply willed herself to beat the odds and be there for her child, just as she always was.

Stephanie had seen more than a fair share of her children's sporting events over the years. Her oldest son went on to play college football at Notre Dame, and her youngest child was a varsity running back at the time of her passing. Her daughter Lauren starred as an athlete too, and it was the standout goalie for the Brebeuf girls soccer team who had the big upcoming game her mother just simply refused to miss, even in the final stages of breast cancer.

Although Stephanie had been in hospice care and in bed for a full week before the day of the match, when it came time for the big game, she suddenly had a renewed supply of energy, and she was up and dressed hours before it was even time to leave.

With Stephanie and several other members of the Turner family watching from a suite, the game got off to a less-than-ideal start. Lauren, who had rarely allowed a ball to get past her to the net during the season, was unable to stop the opposing team from scoring barely two minutes into the game. She found her form after that, however, and eventually her team would rally for a 2-1 victory and the state 2A girls soccer championship.

Overcome with emotion, Lauren rushed from the field and into the family's suite in the immediate moments following the win, and her teammates followed. The family took in the moment together tearfully, a celebration that was only possible because Stephanie would not allow cancer to keep her from being there.

Less than two days after the match, Stephanie's battle with cancer ended. For this family, however, the final memories of her spirit and her love for her children will last forever.

Approximately one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in their lives. Learn how you can contribute to funding for mammograms, cancer research and general care costs.

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