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.
The facility was recommended to the Kufahls by a family friend, but Jenni was hesitant. Now, she is looking for any way possible to win the fight, while also holding firm to her religious beliefs.
“Jenni’s the strongest woman I know,” said Heath Kufahl, CHA’s boys basketball and volleyball coach. “I just know she’s tough and she’s always been. Doctors don’t know everything and God does, so we’re not going to put our hope ever in what doctors say. God brings life and takes it away, so that’s been our thing since we started.”
Doctors at Envita are focusing on improving her immune system. Jenni went through her first treatment Tuesday after being medically flown to the center from Oklahoma.
Wednesday, she was in strong spirits and even opened the conversation saying, “It’s a good day.”
For her family and friends, it was good to see her acting like her old self. They are hoping the trend continues.
“We just don’t want her to go home yet,” Merrell said. “We don’t know what the Lord’s will is yet, but we don’t want her to go home yet.”