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Stefanie Spielman dies at 42

ALLEN PARK — When Chris Spielman played for the Lions, toughness was the linebacker’s signature. His wife Stefanie approached her battle with cancer in the same fashion. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30 and fought it through continued returns. On Thursday she died at age 42, leaving Chris and four children.

Years ago, before the Spielmans were to speak at the Lions’ Courage House dinner, I interviewed Stefanie over the phone. She explained that breast cancer did not run in her family. She was diagnosed following a miscarriage. She said all her well-wishers were her inspiration, but really it worked both ways. Those who knew her were inspired by her.

She used the Spielman name to get the word out on fighting breast cancer and set up the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research.

“The Lions’ family is deeply saddened with the passing of a good friend,’’ Lions president Tom Lewand said in a statement today. “Stefanie touched the hearts of everyone who knew her. With her strong faith and Chris’ devoted support, Stefanie smiled in the face of adversity and used her battle with cancer to help countless others. She was and always will be an inspiration. Our heartfelt prayers and thoughts go to Chris and the family.”


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