Kelly Stafford, wife of Lions' Matthew Stafford, announces she has brain tumor

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions veteran Matthew Stafford, has an active Instagram page in which she shares all manner of life as a mother of three young daughters and wife of an NFL quarterback.

On Wednesday, she shared some heartbreaking news.

Kelly Stafford has ‘acoustic neuroma’

Alongside a picture of herself with Matthew, Kelly Stafford revealed that she’s been diagnosed with a brain tumor; more accurately, she was told she has an acoustic neuroma.

On Wednesday, Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, right, announced that she will undergo brain surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor. (AP)
On Wednesday, Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, right, announced that she will undergo brain surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor. (AP)

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, acoustic neuroma, also called vestibular schwannoma, “is a noncancerous and usually slow-growing tumor that develops on the main (vestibular) nerve leading from your inner ear to your brain. Branches of this nerve directly influence your balance and hearing, and pressure from an acoustic neuroma can cause hearing loss, ringing in your ear and unsteadiness.

“Acoustic neuroma usually arises from the Schwann cells covering this nerve and grows slowly or not at all. Rarely, it may grow rapidly and become large enough to press against the brain and interfere with vital functions.”

She will undergo surgery to remove it in the next coming weeks.

‘A few days later we were hit with the results’

Stafford explained how she learned there was something serious happening:

“Within the last year, I began to notice things that I thought was just me getting older,” she wrote. “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 [January] was when I experienced my first spell of vertigo..It kept happening & then it happened while I was holding [their infant daughter] Hunter. Matthew took me straight to the ER. They checked vitals & blood work, 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.”

Along with the picture of herself and her husband, Stafford posted a photo of her brain scan, highlighting the affected area.

‘I am terrified’

Kelly and Matthew began dating while students at the University of Georgia; their twin daughters, Sawyer and Chandler, recently turned 2, and their younger daughter was born last August.

She admitted that she is afraid of what’s coming.

“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. 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.”

We are wishing Kelly, Matthew and their family the best.

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