Clinton, MD – Steffanie Sheppard of Prince George’s County got to celebrate a birthday that earlier this year, she didn’t think she would have. After a recurrence of breast cancer in her liver this past March, Sheppard feared the worst and gave away many of her personal belongings.
After receiving targeted therapy at the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute (MGCI) at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center near her home in Clinton over the summer, her cancer is now in remission.
reached out to my family and asked them to return my boots and purses and other things, which they were more than happy to do,” said Sheppard. “I had very few side effects from my treatment. I feel great and I’m really enjoying myself now.”
On a recent trip to the hospital during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the cancer center team at MedStar Southern Maryland decided to throw a birthday surprise for Sheppard complete with balloons, flowers and cupcakes.
“It is befitting of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute because they care about me as the whole person. Never would I thought that people that just met me a few short months ago would help me celebrate my 70th birthday,” Sheppard said. “The cancer center team at the hospital always makes me feel like I’m the only patient, like I’m special.”
Now, she’s encouraging all women to not delay their regular breast cancer screenings and check-ups. “It’s really important that women take care of their bodies and know the signs and symptoms of their bodies. When they don’t have the answers, go get the answers.”
Sheppard’s team includes her oncologist Eric Rubenstein, MD, medical director of cancer services at the MGCI at MedStar Southern Maryland. “It was truly gratifying to be able to induce her remission without the toxicity of traditional chemotherapy,” said Dr. Rubenstein. “I also felt grateful to have had the technology to diagnose her cancer remotely and to have the resources of the MedStar Georgetown Cancer Institute to arrange care with the clinicians from all the disciplines needed to direct her treatment in the best possible way. Most importantly, I felt fortunate to be graced by Steffanie’s lively, transparent, and joyful spirit. Her attitude and outlook definitely helped us to succeed.”
Check out this video of Steffanie Sheppard’s birthday surprise at MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center.