Patient of the year

Heidi Holt: 2022-2023 Patient of the Year

Heidi, is a 33-year-old, first grade teacher at a small, Christian school located in Alexandria, VA.
She was diagnosed with Stage 3 squamous cell tongue cancer at the age of 32 in August of last year. Following her diagnosis, an oncologist with the Kaiser Group performed her surgery on September 27, 2021, removing 30% of the right side of her tongue and 24 lymph nodes from her neck. Subsequently, a specialist physician with Virginia Hospital Center implemented a six-week post-operative plan of simultaneous radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

In October of 2022, she felt a lump on the left side of her neck and returned to her medical team for further testing. Unfortunately, her biopsy results indicated recurrence of squamous cell carcinoma in her lymph nodes. She underwent a neck dissection just last week. Pending analysis from this procedure she will begin another round of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Heidi’s parents divorced when she was very young and both parents eventually remarried. Heidi is the eldest of five children on her mother’s side and the eldest of three on her father’s. She loves classic authors like Jane Austen, The Bronte Sisters Series and H. Rider Haggard. She also enjoys mysteries and science fiction television shows, as well as Star Wars movies and all things Disney.

“ Cancer is no joke.  It is not easy to navigate. However, I know my Savior is taking care of me through it all. I’m a born again believer in Jesus Christ, which means I believe that I’m a sinner and only through His death on the cross can I obtain salvation. (John 3:16, Romans 3:23, 6:23, 10:9-13) I trusted Him when I was 8 years old, and He’s never let me down. Cancer isn’t God’s fault, but He can teach me through this trial. My goal is to glorify Him while I do this. And maybe someone can find Christ through my example.” 

Heidi Holt

Heidi hopes to put this second head neck cancer diagnosis and new treatment plan behind her quickly to be able to return to teaching her students and longer-term dreams of marrying and having her own family someday!