2014 Honorees

LeAnn Ishaug

LeAnn IshaugI started out being diagnosed with childhood epilepsy in 2nd grade. CT scans & EEG's were ordered to monitor brain activity. At the young age of 11 in 1979 during Christmas vacation, I was diagnosed with a grade IV Astrocytoma brain tumor. Surgery and radiation were successful with surgery being performed at St. Lukes hospital by Dr. Robert Johnson at the time. Not knowing much about cancer at this time, school was tough on me as the other kids were afraid if they played with me they too would get cancer.

I continued to go about those years by staying positive and strong and with great help from my siblings helping take care of me both at school and at home. I wanted to attend a camp with other kids that also went through cancer, but my parents could not afford it with having 6 kids to raise and a farm to keep up.

I went on to earn a college degree and ended up working at Sanford in the Oncology working with cancer patients. I found my calling later in life to become a nun. I was enjoying life until a 2nd brain tumor, 21 years later was diagnosed in 2000. Surgery was once again performed by the very same neurosurgeon in Fargo. Although this one was benign, it left me with some lasting deficits.

Even though I cannot work or drive, I live independently and stay positive with the gracious support morally, physically, socially, and spiritually by my loving and wonderful family and friends who live close by.