Steamboat Springs grad Sage Loth battling glioblastoma brain cancer
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Sage Loth, a 1994 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, struggled to hold back tears Thursday as he talked about recently being diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma brain cancer.
“Basically, all the decisions have been taken away other than waking up and being positive in the morning and being grateful for those willing to help us,” Sage said.
The 43-year-old was diagnosed on his birthday, March 21, and has undergone two brain surgeries to remove the tumor. He spent 10 days in the hospital before being transferred to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
Now, he is back home in Boulder waiting for his body to heal before he begins radiation and chemotherapy treatments to combat the aggressive form of brain cancer that is attacking his body. The Loths also are looking into trial treatments.
“It was the worst day of my life,” Tracy said about her husband’s diagnosis. “We are going to fight. I can’t lose my best friend and the love of my life.”
Sage and Tracy, who will celebrate seven years of marriage in September, remain optimistic they can beat the odds.
“I love this man with every part of my being and my soul. We have had such a wonderful life and marriage. I’m just so angry that all of that is on the line right now,” Tracy said. “Our attitude is really positive. We are going to be that 1% … and you will be talking to us in 20 years.”
Sage grew up in Steamboat Springs, where he played football for the Sailors, learned to love the sport of kayaking on the rushing waters of the Yampa River and tested his skills rock climbing in the surrounding mountains.
After high school, Sage headed to college, earning a degree in 1998 from the University of Colorado Boulder.
An avid kayaker, many of Sage’s fondest memories are connected to spending time on the water. He fell in love with Tracy while on a rafting trip through Dinosaur more than 13 years ago.
Tracy said Sage’s symptoms came on quickly in March and have progressed rapidly.
Sage’s symptoms originally were misdiagnosed as anxiety, but when they continued to get worse, a friend and doctor sent Sage to get an MRI. The image revealed a tumor.
“I was having trouble moving my left arm,” Sage said. “Then I finally got some imaging done, and they found a fast-growing tumor right on the motor strip on the right side of my brain.”
Neither Sage nor Tracy have been able to return to work since the diagnosis.
Tracy said Sage has lost many of his motor skills on his left side, and she is unable to work because her husband needs care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“He can’t even walk without my help, and his whole left side is not functioning,” Tracy said. “It’s by God’s good graces, help from our neighbors and the little bit of savings we have that we are getting by.
“We have a lot of people cooking meals for us, offering to drive us places, offering to sit with us and mowing the lawn. We have a lot of people who love us.”
Friends also have set up a GoFundMe page to help support the couple financially.
“We just want people to pray and to root for us. We want people to cheer for us,” Tracy said. “We are fighting, and we are going to fight the whole way, and we just want everyone’s love and support and prayers. We are just very grateful to have all the people we do have around us, and we want to thank everyone for their kindness and their support and all the help that we have been given.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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