Tiffanie Saporito was savoring the last days of summer and preparing for the school year ahead in August of 2008 when she began having severe pain in her stomach. When the pain refused to subside, her mother Cheryl took her to the pediatrician who ran some blood tests and a CT scan on her chest, stomach and abdomen. Thinking it was simply a precautionary measure and nothing would come from the tests – Cheryl was shocked and frightened as just two hours later, the pediatrician called instructing her to bring Tiffanie to the Emergency Room as there were multiple spots that appeared on the CT requiring immediate follow-up. Cheryl was initially told her daughter had three months to live, but after receiving a second opinion, Tiffanie was diagnosed with Hepatic Epithelioid Hemangioendothelioma (HEHE), an extremely rare cancer affecting only 200 people and immediately underwent treatment.
Tiffanie’s treatment plan began with multiple rounds of chemotherapy, but after these proved to be ineffective – she underwent a full liver transplant.
Cheryl continues to be amazed at her teenage daughter who despite having the typical sassy teenage attitude – has remained incredibly strong and brave throughout the ordeal. Tiffanie never wanted pity, never felt sorry for herself, continues to always smile and has helped her mom immensely by showing her how to be strong. She is the definition of a true fighter.
Four years after being told she had three months to live – Tiffanie’s long brown hair has grown back and although she still has tumors on both of her lungs that are closely monitored, she is considered in remission. Cheryl wants nothing more than for Tiffanie to be cancer free and live a normal, healthy life again. She firmly believes that they will win their fight thanks to their strong support system and amazing team of physicians.
Quote from hero:
“Being diagnosed with cancer is just a little hill on the roller coaster of life, it doesn’t change you as a person unless you let it. Cancer is just a word."
Information provided by Cheryl Saporito, Tiffanie's mom
Update, Summer 2015: Tiffanie is doing well. She is not longer receiving chemo, and is scanned every 6 months to assess her lungs. Tiffanie has undergone several surgeries to removal ovarian cysts, but continues to fight every day!