Mourners Remember Stefanie Spielman.
The funeral for Stefanie Spielman will be held this morning at Trinity United Methodist church in Marble Cliff. On Monday, hundreds of mourners came to the Longaberger Alumni House near the OSU campus to remember the woman who had inspired so many as she fought breast cancer for more than a decade. WOSU's Debbie Holmes reports.
A video of Stefanie Spielman played as mourners paid their respects to her family, husband Chris, a former Ohio State all american and their four children. The 42 year old OSU graduate died last Thursday after a long battle with breast cancer. During her struggle Stefanie and Chris established the Stefanie Spielman fund for breast cancer research and raised over $6,000,000. Connie Browning, a two year breast cancer survivor was touched by Spielman's fight to live and help others. "It would be so easy to be discouraged and think you weren't going to make it and for her to do what she did in the face of that is amazing." Says Browning.
Michie Nussbaumer went to high school with the Spielmans. During her own severe illness Nussbaumer would sometimes see Spielman undergo physical therapy.
"The things that she was doing and what she was fighting compared to what i was fighting, i just really counted my blessings and it really did inspire me to get healthy and strong again." Says Nussbaumer. Upper Arlington high school girls basketball coach Chris Savage says Stefanie came to all of the games to watch her daughter Maddie play. The news of her death hit hard.
"Our team cried a great deal cause many of them have been touched by her as well and many of their parents knew her and our girls were really, really distraught."
Upper Arlington parent Janet Roberts remembers seeing the Spielmans at sporting events.
"It's very inspiring to have such a private struggle and be able to share it with thousands of people to try to make it better." Says Roberts.
Chris Spielman put his professional football career on hold to help his wife when she was first diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago. Today, NFL teams including the Detroit Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers expressed their condolences through flower arrangements. Mourners wrote their thoughts and memories of Stefanie on laptop computers or left handwritten notes on tables inside the Longaberger alumni house. Mourners also were offered pink roses as a reminder that the fight continues to cure breast cancer.