My Story

Heidi was an inspirational speaker at Relay for Life events. She loved telling her story, in hopes that it helped others dealing with cancer and its treatment.

Heidi Bookmarks are available.  Email your address to: CRensink@charter.net

Click on "MY STORY" to read more.



Heidi’s story began during the end of her Junior year of high school. We had taken a trip to Kansas City to watch her MN Twins play and she did not feel well the whole trip. Her symptoms included morning headaches and vomiting. Upon our return to Minnesota, an MRI at the Waconia Emergency Room verified a brain tumor. It was May 31, 2004, a night that changed our lives forever.

On June 14, 2004 she had her first craniotomy to remove a tumor in the right frontal part of her brain. A complete resection was made, but the tumor was malignant in nature.

The exact kind could not be determined but was either a high-grade astrocytoma, or a PNET (Primitive Neuro Ectodermal Tumor) type.

As a result of deferring opinions, Heidi was treated for both types of cancer. Following the surgery, Heidi had six weeks of radiation while taking oral chemo, Temodar.

After that she began six months of IV chemo which ended in March of 2005. She did her senior year of high school at home via the internet. In April, she actually attended school and graduated in June that year with her classmates. A very special day, indeed!

Heidi attended college, working towards a degree in nursing, (inspired by those she had at Children's) until her first relapse in August 2007. She then had a second craniotomy for removal of a tumor in the right frontal area, again.

Now, it was determined that her tumor was a glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer. Another total resection was done. In September her stem cells were harvested. In October she received high dose chemo, followed by a stem cell transplant in October 2007.

After recovering at home for the next three months, Heidi returned to college, again, in January 2008.

In June 2008, her brain tumor relapsed for a second time. She then had a third craniotomy in July for the removal of a tumor in the right frontal area, again.

This was followed by monthly inpatient intra-arterial chemo treatments, which used (3) chemo drugs together.  This treatment regiment took a toll on her blood counts, and was  discontinued after 5 months, as the cyles were getting further apart, loosing their effectiveness.

Then in February 2009, the third (and final) relapse.

Surgery is no longer an option. With her previous radiation treatments and three previous surgeries, the incision area would be at great risk for infections and worse things.

So, in March 2009, Heidi started with Avastin, an IV drug administered every two weeks.  It interferes with the blood supply to the tumor, possibly slowing the growth, but would not get rid of it.

Our journey continues . . .

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Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry, "5-year Anniversary".

Our dearest Heidi,I thought it would be nice to write another letter to you on this special anniversary.  I’m not saying this is going to be easy, but I wanted to ... Read more

Marilyn Vollbrecht signed Heidi's Guestbook.

Hi Clare,  I thought of this milestone earlier today as I did my Bible reading for the day.  I keep my "Heidi bookmark" in my Bible and often pray that you're having an ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

Dear Heidi,   Since it’s your two year anniversary, I thought I’d write you a little letter.  I’m not sure what other people do at this point, but this seemed like ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

Our dearest Heidi ~ We're missing you on your 24th birthday ...Even with the passage of time, our hearts still ache ... Heaven has a special angel in you!  We love and ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

I have a special request of those who still follow Heidi’s website. Thank you, by the way. We have a dear neighbor in need of your help.  Jan Bogenrief had a mishap ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

Heidi’s 1st Anniversary is this Saturday, April 17th. There will be a Mass at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Delano at 5:00pm, that day for Heidi. As her mom, I can ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

A good friend sent me this item . . . it's lengthy but so true.  I wanted to share it with you.  It sounds like something Heidi would have written . . . It's called ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

In the spirit of Christmas we changed the page a little.  This poem was sent to me some time ago, and thought I’d share it with you . . .  Christmas in Heaven ~ ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

Updated 10/29/09 for Marathon picture info on the bottom of this entry. __________________________________________________ Adding a journal entry has changed on here  . . ... Read more

Clare Rensink posted a new journal entry.

Since it’s September already I thought I would update you on a few things. You may have even noticed a little change in Heidi’s page.  I’m here in Heidi’s room, ... Read more

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