Meeting Tasha Steed, nobody would ever guess the battle she has been fighting for the past year.
Steed teaches fifth grade English/language arts at Spann Elementary. She joined her Spann family on the last day of school before the holidays, donning winter pajamas and an elf hat and smiling from ear to ear. Steed faces every day with a positive attitude and is a big believer in God’s plan.
Physically she said she feels OK, but Steed has had a lot on her mind this year as she has battled a cancerous tumor on her spine.
It is not Steed’s first bout with cancer. Thirteen years ago she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a tumor of the muscle tissue, which Steed successfully defeated with radiation and chemotherapy. Because of her previous cancer Steed regularly has doctor visits. A year ago she noticed she was losing some mobility on the right side of her body and her fingers felt “tingly.” Doctors discovered a tumor in her spinal cord that is intertwined in her nerves.
Despite the hardship, the mother of two has dealt with her diagnosis with a positive attitude – it showed when she was called to the front office at Spann on Dec. 18 to meet three women from a local fitness group that has been praying for Steed to beat cancer.
Genevieve Ravencraft, Janice Jones and Susan Clark are all part of Females In Action (FIA), a local fitness group that made and sold T-shirts and headbands and decided to take the proceeds and give them to Steed as a little extra help.
The fitness group raised $1,850 for Steed, who received the early Christmas gift with happy tears.
“I have no words,” Steed said. “I’m appreciative and I’m grateful. I did not expect it.”
Steed said she was scheduled to head to Duke University on Tuesday to meet with doctors about plans for surgery to remove the tumor in her spine. She said the money would definitely help with her expenses.
Steed said the fitness group’s act of kindness reassured her that everything is in God’s hands.
The women representing Females In Action said they learned about Steed’s battle through Naysha Lucarelli, who works at Spann and is also a member of the fitness group.
FIA is a free fitness group that originated in Charlotte in 2013 and has branched across the Carolinas. Participants follow what they call the three F’s: faith, fellowship and fitness.
Clark said they also work on philanthropies and try to do at least one thing a month as a way of giving back to the community. FIA recently collected more than 500 items for Lowcountry Orphan Relief along with gift cards, food and clothing for flood vicitms.
“We come together as a group and brainstorm and figure it out,” Clark said.