SIOUX FALLS, S.D (KELO) — A Sioux Falls teacher has been battling a rare form of brain cancer for the last 5 years.
“It’s expensive to be sick,” said Katie Blunck.
Katie Blunck’s cancer journey began back in 2018.
“I had a seizure at home in my kitchen. When I was taken into the ER, they found the mass in my right temporal lobe on the CT scan,” Blunck said.
That mass was diagnosed as P-X-A stage 3, a rare aggressive form of brain cancer. She then underwent multiple rounds of chemo, radiation and surgeries to remove the tumor.
All while she was a traveling teacher in the Sioux Falls School District.
“I would go for scans about every other month or every two months or so just to keep a really close eye on everything,” Blunck said.
She was in remission for a few years, but in May of 2022, her doctors found another tumor in her brain. After another surgery in January, she developed extreme sensitivities to light and sound.
Which has kept her from working as an orchestra teacher at Discovery Elementary.
“I’ve also had a number of colleagues donate sick time and personal days to get me through,” Blunck said. “They’re wonderful. I love my people.”
Blunck says the support she has received from students, friends and her coworkers has made the world of difference in this difficult time.
“The students at school have been sending me cards that they made and the Discovery counselors will mail them to me as they come in and it’s been really really awesome because they’re so sweet,”
Blunck’s coworkers at Discovery Elementary created a GoFundMe fundraiser to help her get by and pay off medical bills. You can find a link here.