PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will be filled with visitors this weekend for the Democratic National Convention, but there’s one group of tourists here to celebrate the determination of the movie icon Rocky.
This is a story about fighting against the odds, and winning! It’s a lesson learned from Rocky Balboa that says to never give up. And it’s what this cancer patient kept thinking, and on Friday, at the steps of the Art Museum, her dream came true.
It’s been a long and difficult journey for Sandi Stange and her family who live in Illinois. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago.
“The doctors pretty much looked at me and said they didn’t really know if they could cure it,” Sandi said. “We were really thinking this is not going to be good, you know, that I wasn’t going to survive it.”
With a smile on her face she endured surgery, chemo and radiation. Her inspiration to survive came from the Rocky movies.
Taking on Rocky’s determination Sandi planned to someday follow his footsteps up the iconic steps.
Here in the city of Brotherly Love, Sandi says she’s celebrating her life. They even have t-shirts for the occasion decorated with Sandi’s motto, ‘faith, strength, courage’.
“We’re here it’s amazing,” said Kurtis, Sandi’s son. “We’ve never been to Philadelphia. It’s a beautiful city.”
Sandi’s of 38 years, Brian, says the whole experience is bitter sweet.
“She’s my best friend and I’m very happy for her, but it brings back bad memories,” he said. “ I thought I was gonna lose my wife.”
But she beat the odds, and now it’s time to climb. Sandi’s journey past breast cancer, also included two knee surgeries. With her husband, 2 sons and their girlfriends, they take on the 72 steps as a team.
When they get to the top of the steps, on a rather hot Philadelphia day – they celebrate life and survival.
“It’s the struggles you get thru in life makes you stronger, luckily I have a husband who loves me no matter what mastectomy. He still thinks I look beautiful, and that’s one thing I’m really happy about.”
And just like Rocky, Sandi knows what it feels like to win.
Sandi who’s 58 – says she has a lot to live for, and is especially looking forward to someday being a grandmother.