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In the fall of 2009, 12-year-old Shai (pronounced “Shy”) Shay of Decorah, Iowa was given some very bad news. After experiencing severe stomach pain, Shai was diagnosed with a rare, rapidly-growing abdominal tumor known as undifferentiated sarcoma. If not entirely removed, the tumor was likely to take Shai’s life.

After initial surgery at Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse, Shai was referred to American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison. In March 2010, UW Health pediatric surgeon-in-chief Dennis Lund, MD, and UW Health oncology surgeon Sharon Weber, MD, completely removed Shai’s cantelope-sized tumor.

“We were so grateful when Dr. (Mark) Saxton in La Crosse told us about Dr. Lund and Dr. Weber,” says Shai’s mother, Tami Linne. “Dr. Lund came out of surgery and told us they removed the whole tumor and I just cried for joy.”

Shai’s outlook, which just a few months ago looked very bleak, is now very bright indeed. Learn more about her amazing turnaround by watching these videos. Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System