Assumption community comes together to support mother of basketball player in her fight with breast cancer

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 2:15 AM CST
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - As the high school basketball playoffs begin, Assumption senior Luke Klostermann is savoring every second. He knows now more than ever just how precious every second can be. For every playoff game on the road to State, Luke’s biggest fan isn’t in the stands.

“You always hear about that but you never think it’s going to happen to you or effect you in any way and it shook me up pretty good” said Luke.

Luke’s mother Dana is fighting lobular triple negative breast cancer. It’s a rare and more aggressive form, more likely to come back after treatment.

“This has been tough on him but he has stepped up and just really done a great job of staying positive and being supportive of me”.

After a routine mammogram last April, Dana received the diagnosis.

“It was quite a shock when we got the news that I had cancer and certainly it takes you awhile, it’s like a sucker punch to the stomach”.

After taking the first punch, Dana was ready to fight.

“I went through 12 sessions of chemotherapy. After the chemotherapy, I had a lumpectomy and then I had to continue on with a full mastectomy”.

During her treatment, Dana has still been able to watch many of Luke’s games. But recently after months of fighting, the battle got even tougher.

“We got some bad news. The cancer was still there and had spread to my lymph nodes”.

After speaking with her doctors, Dana decided to try a clinical trial combining radiation with a drug that inhibits cancer cells from re-growing.

“I know that for me to prolong my life and to have a better chance of survival that this clinical trial opening up for me was just a blessing that I had to take and I knew that Luke would be ok”.

The treatment requires Dana to spend 5 weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota which meant she would have to miss out on seeing Luke play his final basketball games at Assumption.

“I love watching him play I love you know seeing him on the court just his drive and determination and how hard he works so that was my first thought is that’s gonna cut that short so that was hard”.

While Dana is receiving treatment, her husband Bryon who’s an assistant coach for Assumption is home with Luke.

“We come from a very athletic family and to me there’s a lot of ups and downs with athletics and that’s life so that’s the beauty of having your kids in athletics or growing up in athletics is you know throughout a game, throughout practice throughout a season it’s not gonna be everything isn’t gonna be great so how do you ride those lows” said Bryon.

For Dana and her family there is strength in each other and in the friends they’ve found at Assumption.

“We’re on this journey with a community”.

Every basketball player at Assumption for the boys and girls teams is wearing warm up shirts with Dana’s initials.

“The number of people that text us, send me cards, reach out to us and let me know that they’re paying for us the love, the care and support that that provides is amazing” said Dana.

“We really cherish that family term here you know it’s hard. I can’t imagine what they’re going through so if there’s anything we can alleviate or help with we really want to do that because you know we love them like brothers and like family and you know they’d do it for us you know Bryon’s the type of guy that would give you the shirt off his back” said Assumption head coach Joe Ewen.

The battle may be daunting, but Dana isn’t fighting alone. If there’s strength in numbers, she’s stronger than ever before.

“You can’t let yourself go to the dark places you really have to fight off that negativism and choose joy” said Dana.

It’s that joy that keeps Dana going and she’s passing it on to all of her family.

“Always just to stay positive no matter what I feel like that’s the thing I’ve realized over the past year I just kind of remember things that she always says to me she always texts me while she’s in Minnesota like always just stay positive and be yourself and that’s she’s proud of me” said Luke.

Dana won’t get to see Luke play high school basketball in person again, unless Assumption makes it to the State Tournament in two weeks when she’ll be done with her five week clinical trial treatment.

“Just the absence of her not being there it made me realize how much it means to me that she is there” said Luke.

Dana’s joy and her strength is with her son for every second of every game.

“I need to appreciate every single moment I have with her” said Luke.

“Treasure those games with your children” said Dana.

Dana is making the most of every day.

“I am more appreciate of the smaller things and the simpler things”.

Dana is determined to come out on the other side of the battle

“I one day hope to show my support and repay others in some way for the truly truly love and support that we’ve been shown”.