Dan Katz-Stein, with his daughter Hana in 2000.
Friends will host a benefit dance for the Katz-Stein family Friday,
Jan. 10, 7:3011:30 p.m., at the Moving Arts Studio.
for Dan and Abi Katz-Stein
to offer support, chance to dance
Since he first faced a life-threatening illness almost seven years ago,
Dan Katz-Stein has learned many things. Hes learned, following brain
surgery, how to speak and walk again, how to do countless small things
he once took for granted.
Hes learned every moment is precious.
Hes learned that the fear he sometimes feels can suddenly vanish,
replaced with inexplicable feelings of warmth and caring. Consequently,
hes learned the healing power of love, especially the love of his
family, friends and community.
Its invaluable, Katz-Stein said recently about the support
hes felt from the community. I know that I can trust that
it will be there.
Friends and acquaintances of Katz-Stein and his wife, Abi, have an opportunity
to show support at a dance this Friday, Jan. 10, 7:3011:30 p.m.,
at the Moving Arts Studio. The dance is a fundraiser for the Katz-Stein
family, which, after years of cancer-free living, once again faces a health
emergency, this time Dans aggressive brain cancer. All contributions
above the $6 cost will go to the Katz-Stein family.
Community support is especially important, said the dances organizer,
Caroline Stevens, because, like many in Yellow Springs, neither Dan nor
Abi has family nearby. And, while insurance covers medical costs, the
family faces other costs, such as travel expenses to Boston, where Dans
brain surgeon practices, and the likely need for home health care.
They have a long row to hoe, said Stevens, a neighbor and,
like Abi, a medical student at Ohio University. They depend on neighbors
and friends. We need to support each other.
Following brain surgery in December, Dan Katz-Stein seemed to be making
good progress, and agreed to an interview for this article. However, this
week he faced a setback when he suffered seizures and doctors discovered
a brain cyst. On Tuesday, he and Abi returned to Boston, leaving their
children, Zach, a student at the McKinney School, and Hana, an Antioch
School student, with friends. Although he could not do the interview,
Katz-Stein invited those interested to read the online journal hes
been keeping at life.katzstein.com.
Dans first bout with brain cancer took place in 1995, when he experienced
seizures. Tests revealed a brain tumor, although the tumor was a slow-growth
variety and was removed by surgery, according to his online journal. A
second, more aggressive, tumor was discovered in 1999, and a second surgery
followed. Recovery from this surgery was extensive, and Katz-Stein didnt
return to his job at YSI Incorporated for over a year.
However, in 2001 he resumed a 30-hour work week, and with sufficient energy,
he was running the household while Abi pursued her dream, entering medical
school at the Ohio University School of Medicine.
In August 2002, Katz-Stein experienced the first full-body seizure hed
had for several years, according to his journal, and he knew the seizure
could indicate a return of the cancer. However, initial tests showed nothing.
Almost three months after the seizure, tests revealed an aggressive, fast-growing
brain tumor. His Boston surgeon urged immediate surgery.
The six-hour surgery took place on Dec. 10 in Boston, and everything went
well, Abi wrote in a journal entry. The tumor was removed, and Dan was,
to his amazement, discharged from the hospital several days later.
However, tests revealed that the tumor was rapidly growing and highly
malignant, Dan wrote later, and doctors recommended additional measures
of chemotherapy and possibly radiation. Before the most recent setback,
the Katz-Steins were considering the Cleveland Clinic as a possible site
for the chemotherapy.
The last few months have been a roller-coaster of emotions, Dan said in
his journal, with bouts of depression and fear. But through it all, he
maintains a positive focus, always seeking to learn from his struggles
and to be open to the love he feels around him.
Following the December surgery, Abi wrote, I have felt so honored
and blessed to be with him, to share this growth and knowing, to be witness.
I wonder sometimes if he is rationalizing or denying, and then he will
say something so profound and so true, that I am awestruck and dumbstruck.
A few weeks ago he wrote that his soul is pure and even though his body
is being chipped away, he knows that his soul will be untouched. He is
living that daily. He says he is in a good place physically to begin this
next set of treatments.
After he discovered the cancers return this fall, Dan wrote that
he felt weary of the struggle toward health. But, he said,
What keeps me going is love for my family and love exploration.
I want to love Abi and enjoy our childrens growing lives.