Her Story: Becki DeFriese

Motivating Stories from Local Women

Every woman has a story to tell, and no two stories are alike. Meet the women who have persevered through challenges and tribulations and come out the other side stronger than ever. 

These unique individuals have seen their fair share of adversity but continue to inspire those around them with the lessons they have learned and their love of life. Read on for four truly motivating stories by the women who experienced them firsthand.

I’m thankful. Health is wealth!"

What was a normal, busy, and fun life came to a screeching halt. The days before were typical. On February 13th, my husband Scott picked me up from the airport, and that evening our son, his fiancée, and their kids came over for dinner and to watch the Super Bowl. The next evening, I went to Scott’s work for an event. We came home, let the dogs out, and got ready for bed. Everything was normal, but at 6 a.m. the next morning, things changed. 

Scott woke up to me having a seizure in bed, which I have no memory of. When he finally was able to get me coherent, I felt fine. I got up to get ready for work, and he said, “Angel, you had a seizure. You can’t just go to work.” My response was, “I don’t have seizures. It was probably a dream. I have a doctor’s appointment before work. I have to go.”  

I just so happened to have a yearly appointment with my primary physician that morning. I told her everything, and she made an appointment for me to see a neurologist the next day and then sent me for an MRI. I knew something was wrong when we were called into a private room to let me know I had a tumor on my brain. On our way home from the imaging office, my doctor called. She told me to pack a bag and for Scott to take me to the ER right after. Once I got to the hospital, I had another MRI and met a neurosurgeon, who told me I would be having brain surgery the next day. I couldn’t believe it! Everything was going so fast, and I was so scared.  

Sure enough, on February 16th, I had brain surgery to remove a level 2 cancerous astrocytoma tumor. I did six weeks of radiation, and I’m still currently taking chemotherapy. I couldn’t drive for six months, and I’ll have MRIs regularly for quite some time. My last MRI showed no new growth, and I was told the results couldn’t have been better.

So many have said, “You’re so healthy. You eat right, hike, walk, run, and drink more water than anyone.” 

Cancer doesn’t care, and it doesn’t discriminate. I almost didn’t go to the doctor that morning because I felt 100% fine. I wasn’t. Everyone asks me about my symptoms leading up to this, and I had none.  

I’ve thought many times, “Am I going to beat this?” It’s okay to be scared, but never give up. You have to fight for yourself and the people who love you. My strength comes from my faith, my family, and my friends.

I’m thankful. Health is wealth!

Becki DeFriese, Ooltewah

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