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Broadview Heights resident tackles cancer, then gives back to her doctor

Posted: March 19, 2018

by Laura Straub


Broadview Heights resident Cheryl Maurer was at her son’s music lesson last February when she got the news that would change her life: Her doctor called to inform her that she had stage IV rectal cancer.


“My world went completely upside down,” she said. “And then we found out it metastasized to my liver.”


Treatments were grueling, and Maurer experienced a year that included radiation to shrink the tumor, six rounds of chemotherapy, colorectal surgery, a liver resection surgery to remove the diseased lobe of her liver and an additional six rounds of chemo.


She knew the treatments would be tough. But Maurer didn’t expect the friends, family and community members who provided her with countless hours of prayers, support and love.


Between her church community at St. Albert the Great in North Royalton, the Broadview Heights Chamber of Commerce and her gym, Functions of Life in Broadview Heights, she received meal trains, rides to chemotherapy and even friends purchasing her workout sessions.


“All the wonderful people that came to support me was overwhelming,” said Maurer. “You don’t get to see this much love until your funeral. I was so blessed to see how much I was loved and kick this knowing I had all that support.”


Maurer’s positive outlook and her community’s support helped her tackle each hurdle, and she is now in remission, with no evidence of disease.


To celebrate, Maurer is giving back to the doctor who gave her so much by donating 10 percent of the profits from her Broadview Heights-based sugar cookie company, 2 Bubbies Cookies, to help fund Dr. Cristiano Quintini’s research.


Quintini, director of liver transplantation at the Cleveland Clinic, performed Maurer’s liver resection procedure, and he is in the midst of some important research.


According to the Cleveland Clinic, the primary technique for transporting organs for the past 40 years involves keeping them at near-freezing temperatures, which causes unnecessary damage to the organ. To maintain the quality of the organs and minimize damage, Quintini is developing a new method of preserving organs for transplant called ex vivo organ perfusion.


In this method, the organ is stored in a portable, body-temperature intensive care unit that provides oxygen, nutrients and medication to restore it to optimal health before transplantation. According to Quintini, the device will lead to better outcomes for patients and healthier organs overall for people in desperate need of the relatively few available livers.


Maurer decided to donate a portion of her profits after seeing an article about the work Quintini was doing.


“I’ve always loved the medical community and I thought, I can support this,” she said. “My cookies are pretty darn good, but now they’re part of something bigger.”


Maurer is planning a fundraising event to support Quintini’s research, too. On Aug. 11, she will host a six-course meal – including wine pairings and music – at Osso, a restaurant opening at the 39-acre Flying W Farm in Hambden Township (just east of Chardon). The farm was a special place to Maurer during her treatments, because her sister is a neighbor and brought her there for peace, relaxation and to pet the cows.


The food at the event will be fresh, natural and farm-to-table, Maurer said, which fits the Clinic’s mantra of healthy living.


Maurer said she’s excited to see how her new philanthropy pursuit unfolds this year, and it is motivating her to sell more cookies. She added that she’s open to benefiting other charities or research in the future.


2 Bubbies Cookies offers sugar cookies in an assortment of designs and ships anywhere in the United States. For more information, visit 2bubbiescookies.com.

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