Block fights cancer; Benefit planned Saturday

NEW ULM – A benefit will be held Saturday, June 7 at the New Ulm Armory for Teresa (Wallace) Block who was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Small Cell Lung Cancer.

Block has lived in New Ulm all her life, and she is the mother of three children (Tiffany Miklas, Nadine Block, Jesse Miklas) and grandmother to five grandchildren (Lily, Brooke, Landon, Kaylee, and Hayden).

Block has been a nurse since 1989, beginning in Sleepy Eye, but she also worked for New Ulm Medical Center and currently works as a LPN in urology at the Wickersham Campus at the Mankato Clinic.

Block began her medical career as an EMT while still a junior in high school. She has helped countless patients throughout her career, and now she is a patient herself.

Block explained that symptoms first became noticeable following the Christmas holiday.

The cancer was fast growing, causing Block to dismiss early symptoms as a cold with bronchitis-like behavior. Antibiotics lessened symptoms, but the cold never went away and eventually worsened.

Block began to suspect something worse.

Block got a chest x-ray, and it showed a mass in her lungs. This mass had been pushing up against her trachea simulating the symptoms of bronchitis.

After some blood work and a CT Scan, Block learned it was lung cancer on April 21. A biopsy on May 1 determined it was a fast-growing cancer and chemotherapy would be the treatment. Unfortunately by the time the illness was diagnosed, the cancer had metastasized to her liver, brain, and bone.

The chemo treatments started immediately on May 5.

As a nurse Block knows what to expect from the chemotherapy, but she knows the value of keeping optimistic.

“Having a positive attitude pays off as well as having a support system,” she said.

Block is hanging tight to her family. Sadly, Block’s father is also undergoing treatment for cancer.

Block’s sister Linda (Wallace) Stevensen has been one of the family’s strongest assets. Stevensen keeps track of her sister and father’s doctor appointments and drives them back and forth between hospitals. Because Block’s two daughters both work in medicine, her family is well versed in the terminology and the pathology of cancer.

In addition, Block is inspired by the advancements in cancer treatments/

“Things are done better these days.” A small port has been placed in Block’s body to better administer the chemo medication and special anti-nausea pills makes it easier to manage the side effects.

While these new treatments help, Block said that because the cancer has entered her blood, she will always have the disease, but she is determined to fight it.

Block and her family are uncertain what additional treatments will be necessary, but the costs are accumulating. The benefit on Saturday will help support the family in this difficult time.

The benefit will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost of a meal is $8 for adults and $5 children.

A silent auction will take place. Items include Twins tickets, theater tickets, autographed Minnesota Wild pictures, stained glass windows, hand-carved cat tables from Indonesia and assorted gift baskets for all ages.

While the adults take part in the auction a kids corner will be set up for coloring and face painting.

Individuals who would like to donate directly may send checks to an account in Teresa Block’s name at Citizens Bank New Ulm. 105 N. Minnesota St., New Ulm, MN 56073

Those wishing to donate items for the auction can contact Arika Citrowske at 507-766-3658 or contact Linda (Wallace) Stevensen at 507-327-9937.

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