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Wife of Lions QB Matthew Stafford has brain tumor, needs surgery

By Alex Butler
Wife of Lions QB Matthew Stafford has brain tumor, needs surgery
Matthew Stafford and his wife Kelly have been married since 2015. The couple met while Stafford was the quarterback at Georgia and she was a Bulldogs cheerleader. Photo courtesy of Kelly Stafford/Instagram

April 3 (UPI) -- Kelly Stafford, the wife of Detroit Lions star Matthew Stafford, will have surgery this April to have a brain tumor removed.

She announced the diagnosis Wednesday on Instagram. Stafford said she began to notice dizziness and a lack of balance when she was dancing with her children. She experienced her first spell of vertigo in January.

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"This is a picture of Matthew and I the day we found out," Stafford wrote on the post. "I said I wanted this picture of us, so that the day this was all over, we could look back at this photo and remember."

She also posted a photo of a brain scan, which showed where the tumor was located.

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View this post on Instagram

This is a picture of Matthew & I the day we found out. I said I wanted this picture of us, so that the day this was all over, we could look back at this photo & remember. Within the last year, I began to notice things that I thought was just me getting older.. I would show my girls how to do a front roll or twirl in ballet class and immediately feel dizzy & off balance... Things that I had been doing my entire life were now, all of a sudden, difficult. The beginning of Jan was when I experienced my first spell of vertigo..It kept happening & then it happened while I was holding Hunter. Matthew took me straight to the ER. They checked vitals & bloodwork, all were fine.. Several vertigo spells later, Matthew’s team doctor recommended we go get an MRI of my brain to rule everything major out. A few days later we were hit with the results. I had a tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves. The medical term they used was an acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma.. All I heard was brain tumor & that they had to do surgery to take it out.. so that is what we are going to do & we believe we found the best doctor to do it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t completely terrified of brain surgery. I am. I am terrified of them opening my head, I’m terrified of losing my hearing, I’m terrified of losing facial function, I’m terrified of far worse things that could happen and I’m terrified that I won’t take the time I need to recover because the guilt I might feel of being absent from my kids for too long.. I am telling y’all this to ask for prayers and support. Things to pray for: -calmness in these next 2 weeks as I know anxiety will run high in myself & my whole family leading up to the day of surgery. -that God be in the room with the surgeons & give them all the guidance, steadiness, & confidence they need. -my safety during and after surgery. -please pray for matthew as I know his nerves will be high during this surgery. I couldn’t imagine being out in that waiting room. Thank u. Thank u for reading this novel. thank u for all your support and most importantly, thank u for your prayers.

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A post shared by Kelly Stafford (@kbstafford89) on

Stafford said her husband took her to the emergency room on one occasion and her vitals and bloodwork were fine. The vertigo spells continued before Lions team doctors recommended an MRI on her brain to rule out major issues.

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"A few days later we were hit with the results," Stafford said. "I had a tumor sitting on some of my cranial nerves. The medical term they used was an acoustic neuroma or vestibular schwannoma."

"All I heard was brain tumor and that they had to do surgery to take it out ... so that is what we are going to do and we believe we found the best doctor to do it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely terrified of brain surgery. I am. I am terrified of them opening my head, I'm terrified of losing my hearing, I'm terrified of losing facial function, I'm terrified of far worse things that could happen and I'm terrified that I won't take the time I need to recover because the guilt I might feel of being absent from my kids for too long."

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Stafford asked for prayers and support, requesting calmness for her and her husband, as well as safety.

"Thank you," Stafford wrote. "Thank you for reading this novel. Thank you for all your support and most importantly, thank you for your prayers."

The Staffords married in 2015 and have three daughters. The Lions quarterback met his wife in college, while she was a cheerleader at George and he was the Bulldogs' quarterback.

Matthew Stafford, 31, is entering his 11th season. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft has four years remaining on his contract with the Lions.

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