Cancer Survivor Faces a Second Battle

1 decade 1 year 10 months ago Monday, September 04 2006 Sep 4, 2006 Monday, September 04, 2006 7:27:48 PM CDT September 04, 2006 in News

It wasn't leukemia. This time, Zorsch's heart was failing. In fact, at one point, it stopped altogether. Doctors gave Zorsch, then just 25, only 24 hours to live. Cancer patients don't qualify for new hearts and Zorsch would die without a transplant. It seemed she had beaten cancer only to die waiting for a new heart.

"The radiologist working with the cardio thoracic surgeon were able to get enough people from enough different universities to say why not? Because no one in the U.S. had ever done an acute lymphositic heart transplant patient," Zorsch explained.

Doctors lobbied hard to get Zorsch on the transplant list. In fewer than 24 hours, she had a new heart. At the time, the match was the second quickest in the United States.

Zorsch received a Hope and Spirit Award from University Hospital. She's now the Program Manager of Oncology at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. There, she helps cancer survivors just like herself see the world through a different lens.

"Try to find as many positive things in the situation as you can. I really think having a positive attitude through most of it got me through a lot of it," Zorsch said.

It's an attitude that allows Zorsch to better appreciate a good landscape and marvel at the complexity of a spider's web. With a new lens and a new focus, Zorsch now knows capturing life has little to do with your camera.

Zorsch's Leukemia is still in remission and she said she's feeling just fine.

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