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Volleyball star receives ‘Spirit of the Sport’ award after battling brain cancer

Abby Tuma’s journey of overcoming medulloblastoma
Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:32 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Abby Tuma of Shawano Community High School was the recipient of the 2021 Wisconsin Section 4 Spirit of the Sport award.

Tuma was a senior in 2020 for the Hawk’s volleyball team. However, in January of 2019, she was diagnosed with brain cancer.

“Six-hour brain surgery. Then, I think the worst part of that was 30 hours after I was constantly throwing up,” Tuma said as she detailed the beginning of her battle with cancer. “Then, I was in the ICU for three days and stayed at Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital for a month and went over what the next year would look like.”

The next year would look like six weeks of radiation, 56 weeks of chemo, and a loss of a normal high school experience.

“I’m definitely a person who thinks she can do things by herself,” Tuma explained. “And to have the doctors and nurses say we need to help you do this...I thought I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was because I needed that help.”

That was far from the case because on April 7, 2020, Tuma was told she had finally beat cancer and was deemed cancer-free.

“I love that word,” Steve Tuma, Abby’s father, said. “I say that word every day. It’s so great to hear and see the smile on her face to be here with us.”

As for what the future holds for Tuma, she will attend UW-La Crosse and study accounting.

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