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Woman with terminal cancer chooses life over death

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    MANSFIELD, LA (KTBS) — Steffany Sewell Martin, 38, is planning and preparing her own celebration of life party.

It’s traditionally done for someone after they’ve passed away to remember a loved one, but Martin plans on attending her own.

She was diagnosed with terminal cancer and hopes to live until the end of 2019.

“Tomorrow (Friday) night, I’m going to get out there and cut a rug!” She laughed. “I might need help doing it, but it’s going to happen!”

This might be the Mansfield woman’s last opportunity to dance, because she isn’t throwing just any party, she’s celebrating her life on earth.

“I’d rather have quality over quantity any day. Because like I’ve told you, I have lived a great life,” said Martin.

Martin’s health issues started when she was in high school, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. When she was 22, she was diagnosed with familial polyposis, an inherited disorder characterized by cancer of the colon.

She’s the first person in her family to have the disease, which was passed down to her 18-year-old son, Levi.

“That’s my biggest concern with him, I want him to make sure he stays on it. I want him to live a long prosperous life. That’s going to happen.”

Her inspiration is rubbing off on both Levi and 15-year-old Trevor, who both consider themselves mama’s boys. They’re confident they’ll be in good hands because of the woman who raised them.

“That’s my best friend. She’s not scared, she’s inspirational and has courage,” said Levi. “Don’t give up on things and get low on life, just be happy. She doesn’t want this to be sad on us.”

Martin always considered herself a healthy person she ate clean, played sports and worked hard. She found out she was sick this past January while she was working as an emergency room nurse at DeSoto Regional.

“We went ahead at work, did some labs/scans. I was literally eaten up with cancer. My liver was down in my pelvic area and my stomach was huge.”

Nearly nine months later, Martin said she is not afraid of dying. Rather, she’s at peace.

“None of us know our expiration date, I could go outside right now and die. If you do know your expiration date, it changes things, doesn’t it? It makes you think deeper and appreciate everything.”

Martin is traveling to Maine next week with her husband to cross an item off her bucket list, that is to watch the fall leaves change colors.

Her celebration of life is Friday from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Clista Calhoun Center in Mansfield.

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