The following post was written by Maple Tree Exercise Oncology Instructor Matt Stemley about one of his patients:

A cancer diagnosis is a shocking event that may put the rest of your life on pause – at least for a while. You may face treatments that drain your energy and impede your ability to do the things that make you your own person. 


BUT….as patients like our very own Teri will show us, that does not always have to be the case!


Teri has been married to her husband for 35 years. She adores her entire family, and it shows through in everything she does. Sunday’s are often reserved for a big family dinner, during which everyone catches up. When not working at Stebbins High School you can find her walking, baking, or spending time with her family (particularly her grandkids).


When Teri first joined Maple Tree last April, she had one major goal that she wanted to make sure she did everything in her power to achieve.  She wanted to be healthy enough to attend her daughter’s wedding, which was just a few months away. 


Teri was referred to Maple Tree through her oncologist, Dr.Knecht. “He discussed the benefits of the program and encouraged me to check it out!”, she tells us.


Soon after meeting Teri, we knew that if there was a such thing as an actual poster child for the old adage, “attitude is everything”, it would be Teri Toscani. 


The most powerful trait of Teri’s is her OPTIMISM and CHARISMA!  Upon meeting her, you would never know that she has undergone surgery and weeks of radiation. She is so positive and determined to fight her cancer back, that it is an inspiration to us all. Each and every workout she attacks! She always wants to push herself as much as she can (within the limits set by her trainer, of course)! Teri stands all of 5’4”, but packs more energy than your average cup of coffee!


Because of this, none of us were surprised when Teri was, indeed, healthy enough to go to her daughter’s wedding. In fact, after just three short months in the program, Teri had experienced a 22.58% INCREASE in her cardiovascular fitness and a 100% INCREASE (YES, you read that right) in her muscular endurance.


Teri has now been in remission for 10-months and says, “I am AMAZED and actually proud of the progress that I have made!  And I owe it all to my trainer who challenges, encourages and informs me every week with NEW exercises, words of wisdom and information I can use to stay MOTIVATED to take care of myself!”




Teri goes on to say, “Maple Tree is truly a great organization and has made such a huge difference in my life. According to my baby sister, Nancy (a 4-year breast cancer survivor, herself!), I am a walking billboard of the great things they do! I feel honored and blessed to be a part of Maple Tree!”


Teri has not only benefited from the physical exercise training, but also the support system it has created. Teri’s trainer, Matt, comments that he often sees her engaging with other patients, swapping stories and laughing with them.


Teri has also read the devotional written by Dr. Karen Wonders titled “Beauty from Ashes” and praised the lighthearted moments that reference different points in Dr. Karen Wonder’s own journey.  “Thank you Karen Wonders for having the vision and the courage to bring this program to fruition and realizing that we need to treat not just the physical effects of cancer, but the mental and spiritual sides as well, this caring for the whole person.  I hope the medical community realizes the need and sees the good that Maple Tree does and expands this program so that many more people can benefit from it’s services!” – Teri Toscani


Thank YOU, Teri! You are a true inspiration to us all!