Family Remembers Stephanie Steiner

Posted on May 30, 2014 by

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Back In December, I shared my heartbroken story about my stepmom, Stephanie Steiner, who was diagnosed with stage-four melanoma. Many of you have been supporting her and buying the green bracelets. I had planned to give my father, Jeffery Steiner, the bracelet money for his birthday on 26 May and surprise the both of them. My plan to do that took a rough turn.

Stephanie had found out that she had another tumor that formed above the original metal rod that was placed in her back. She had to go into surgery again to extend the rod with more cages and screws. She returned to the Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for more tests and radiation. Stephanie then received the news that the cancer had spread to her brain. We didn’t even know how to react to this news. Stephanie was informed that she had only two weeks to live.

A hospital bed was placed in our living room, and she came home to be with her family, who was by her side every step of the way. We decided to celebrate my birthday that weekend so that Stephanie could see me blow out my 18 candles. She and my father wrote me a note for my birthday. It was the best present I could have received, so I thought.

Stephanie and I had a joke between the two of us. I was always an exaggerator, and, whenever I was sick, I would say I was dying. She would say sarcastically, “If you die, then I get your bedroom.” She wanted to have her own scrapbooking room in the worst way. I always admired her three-row tanzanite bracelet that my father gave her, and I would always reply with, “Fine, but I get your bracelet if you do.” I will always remember this birthday when she told me to close my eyes as she placed the bracelet on my wrist.

My sister Katie Steiner, her boyfriend Justin Racine, my brother Jeffery Steiner, his fiancé Ashton Cox, my boyfriend Steve Dunkle, and I decided to give my father and Stephanie the money for the bracelets that day. We had all worked so hard to raise this money and wanted her to know it. We handed her the box first, and she proceeded to open it.  She and my father cried at the bittersweet moment of looking at the bracelet; we then handed them the envelope.

She pulled out nine-hundred-and-twenty-seven dollars that the six of us had raised. Both of them were very appreciative of all the support and love. I have recently sent out over 100 bracelets to stepmothers all over the United States who were a part of a club that Stephanie too was a part of.

As days went on, Stephanie became weaker, but none of us gave up on our beautiful fighter. My father and I made sure she had everything she wanted: fountain soda root beers, Redbulls, slushies, and even pudding. We wanted our princess to have everything she wanted to keep her as comfortable as possible. I was always one to tell her how beautiful she was and that I loved her every time it crossed my mind. I sat next to her one day and asked her questions. Stephanie told me she had everything she wanted in life from her family and she was not afraid to leave, but she was afraid we would be upset and she didn’t want to see us sad.

The six of us kids and my father stayed up for three hours with Stephanie one night, as she needed the company. On 10 May, at 5:50 a.m., Stephanie passed away and left our hearts with the greatest wound our family has ever encountered.

God received a beautiful and strong woman, and my family received an angel. Stephanie’s wishes were to be cremated and to have a Celebration of Life with happy memories and reminiscing. We will be honoring her wishes with about two hundred others who loved and shared the happiness that we did.

I again want to thank each and every one of you who donated money towards our family, and, if anyone would still like to purchase one, I am still selling them and can be contacted on Facebook. Another way to honor Stephanie would be to donate to Melanoma research at the Kimmel Cancer Center.

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