Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s Wife, Kelly, Reveals She Has a Brain Tumor

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Matt Stafford and wife Kelly Stafford share news of Kelly's brain tumor
Photo courtesy Kelly Stafford Instagram

As a mom to three little ones and the wife to Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, Kelly Stafford had the picture perfect life. That is, until the cancer showed up and changed everything.

Kelly announced on Wednesday (April 3) that she has been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor called an acoustic neuroma. In the coming weeks, she will be going into surgery to remove it.

And she’s scared.

“I had a tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves. The medical term they used was an acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma.. All I heard was brain tumor & that they had to do surgery to take it out.. so that is what we are going to do & we believe we found the best doctor to do it,” she wrote.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely terrified of brain surgery,” Kelly added alongside a picture of her and her husband on the day they received the diagnosis. “I am terrified of them opening my head, I’m terrified of losing my hearing, I’m terrified of losing facial function, I’m terrified of far worse things that could happen and I’m terrified that I won’t take the time I need to recover because the guilt I might feel of being absent from my kids for too long. I am telling y’all this to ask for prayers and support.”

She continued, “Things to pray for: -calmness in these next 2 weeks as I know anxiety will run high in myself & my whole family leading up to the day of surgery. -that God be in the room with the surgeons & give them all the guidance, steadiness, & confidence they need. -my safety during and after surgery.  please pray for matthew as I know his nerves will be high during this surgery. I couldn’t imagine being out in that waiting room.  Thank u. Thank u for reading this novel. thank u for all your support and most importantly, thank u for your prayers.”

“There’s a couple thousand diagnosed every year in the United States,” neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Rock told the Detroit Free Press when asked about the specific tumor Kelly has been diagnosed with. “They’re therefore not very common. They are benign conditions, and they are tumors that grow off of the hearing and balance nerve. It’s something that’s very treatable.”

Our prayers are with the Stafford family at this scary time.

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This is a picture of Matthew & I the day we found out. I said I wanted this picture of us, so that the day this was all over, we could look back at this photo & remember. Within the last year, I began to notice things that I thought was just me getting older.. I would show my girls how to do a front roll or twirl in ballet class and immediately feel dizzy & off balance… Things that I had been doing my entire life were now, all of a sudden, difficult. The beginning of Jan was when I experienced my first spell of vertigo..It kept happening & then it happened while I was holding Hunter. Matthew took me straight to the ER. They checked vitals & bloodwork, all were fine.. Several vertigo spells later, Matthew’s team doctor recommended we go get an MRI of my brain to rule everything major out. A few days later we were hit with the results. I had a tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves. The medical term they used was an acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma.. All I heard was brain tumor & that they had to do surgery to take it out.. so that is what we are going to do & we believe we found the best doctor to do it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely terrified of brain surgery. I am. I am terrified of them opening my head, I’m terrified of losing my hearing, I’m terrified of losing facial function, I’m terrified of far worse things that could happen and I’m terrified that I won’t take the time I need to recover because the guilt I might feel of being absent from my kids for too long.. I am telling y’all this to ask for prayers and support. Things to pray for: -calmness in these next 2 weeks as I know anxiety will run high in myself & my whole family leading up to the day of surgery. -that God be in the room with the surgeons & give them all the guidance, steadiness, & confidence they need. -my safety during and after surgery. -please pray for matthew as I know his nerves will be high during this surgery. I couldn’t imagine being out in that waiting room. Thank u. Thank u for reading this novel. thank u for all your support and most importantly, thank u for your prayers.

A post shared by Kelly Stafford (@kbstafford89) on

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