Benefit planned for Old Fort woman with brain tumors

Last September, Angela Martin, 42, was going about her business getting her two daughters back to school and working at Crown Battery. The single mom and Old Fort resident was not prepared for the health crisis that seemed to come out of nowhere. During a weekend off work, Martin could not be roused from her sleep.

Alarmed, her boyfriend and children called 911.

The staff in the emergency room at Mercy Tiffin Hospital determined Martin had experienced a seizure and ran a CT scan. Before sending her home, they also scheduled an MRI for the following afternoon. She was home again for about two hours after the MRI before a call came from the hospital.

“Three cysts or masses were found near my brain and a lot of swelling … which causes the seizures. I was told I would be transported to Toledo St. Vincent for further observation,” Martin said.

She was given medication to reduce the swelling and an ambulance ride to Toledo for a few days. More tests showed one brain tumor the size of a lemon and two smaller masses. She had surgery to biopsy the tumors and send them for analysis.

The masses were deemed inoperable, and she was referred to Lisa Rogers, a tumor specialist at Cleveland University Cancer Center. Her treatment started in mid-December.

“I went through a six-week clinical trial of chemotherapy and radiation,” Martin said. “Dad drove me every day for treatment.”

Like most patients, she lost her hair and experienced fatigue. The therapy is to continue with five days of treatment monthly for 12 months. Martin said she has completed the first month of treatment. Her medication has been doubled for the remaining months. No more seizures have occurred, but the medication sometimes affects her memory and saps her strength.

Although Martin wanted to return to work, her employer would not accept the doctor’s release, which specified four-hour shifts and breaks as needed. She was approved for 13 weeks of disability, but that has run out. Her sister, Teresa Canfield, has been helping her keep the household running, and SCAT has been transporting her daughters, AnnaMarie and Rachelle, to school.

“I’ve always been healthy. I never thought I’d be off work like this,” Martin said.

If she can get through a few more months without seizures, she may be able to drive again. Martin said the only cancer in her family is melanoma, so she never expected anything so serious for herself. She expressed gratitude for support from her friends, family and church. They have planned benefits for Martin April 6 in Fremont and May 3 in Old Fort.

“I love them all so much for their support and all the faith they have,” Martin said.

She has posted numerous photos and information on her Facebook page, including photos of the craft items she has made. These are to be for sale at the benefits.