High schools: Despite bleak prognosis, Jenni Kufahl continues the fight

Kufahl, the daughter of Christian Heritage football coach John Merrell, said: “I’ve got seven kids. I want to stay here with my kids and raise my kids. That’s why we felt like we’re not ready to give up.”
by Jacob Unruh Published: April 9, 2014
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photo - Heath Kufahl, left, hit a half-court shot at a Thunder game. The money went toward the medical bills of his wife, Jenni, who is battling stomach cancer.  Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Heath Kufahl, left, hit a half-court shot at a Thunder game. The money went toward the medical bills of his wife, Jenni, who is battling stomach cancer. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Jenni Kufahl isn’t ready to give up, and neither is her family.

Facing a bleak prognosis last week in her lengthy battle with cancer, Kufahl is now in Arizona receiving another form of treatment to continue her fight.

“I’m not ready to go yet,” said Kufahl, the daughter of Christian Heritage athletic director and football coach John Merrell. “If I knew more about heaven and understood it more, and understood more about the Lord, I would be ready to go.

“I’ve got seven kids. I want to stay here with my kids and raise my kids. That’s why we felt like we’re not ready to give up.”

Kufahl made national headlines last year when her husband, Heath, made the $20,000 half-court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Following the shot, which helped pay for her treatment, things started looking up for Jenni. A surgery to remove the cancer appeared to be successful, and she was free to enjoy her summer.

The cancer, though, returned three months later with a vengeance, moving from Stage III appendix cancer to Stage IV.

“The doctors couldn’t believe how aggressive it was,” Merrell said. “They were shocked it was like that.”

Treatments did little to improve Kufahl’s condition. Last week, she was told there wasn’t much else that could be done.

Now, she is receiving treatment at Envita in Scottsdale, Ariz., a facility that specializes in integrating conventional and advanced natural medicine.

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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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