Stephanie Joseph grew up in Naperville, IL and seemed to have a special energy the minute she entered the world.  As little sister to Tom, and daughter to Joe and Mary, Stephanie always lit up a room. She quickly took a liking to figure skating and spent countless hours pursuing the dream of triple lutz jumps and layback spins as a young girl.

At age eight Stephanie found an unusual lump on her upper thigh and was told shortly after that it was cancer. After enduring harsh treatment and losing her hair at such an young age, she was told she would possibly never walk again. This notion was short lived as Stephanie went on to land those triple lutzes, dance in school troops, and gain a new passion for running on her high school’s cross country team.

After graduating from Nequa Valley High School in 2004, Stephanie went on to pursue a journalism degree at the University of Missouri. There she thrived in her interest for writing and living college the way it was meant to be lived. In her Junior year at Mizzou, her cancer came out of its ten year remission. Determined to finish her degree, Stephanie did all she could to stay at school and continue her classes as a normal student. Just months before her scheduled graduation, Stephanie died from soft tissue sarcoma at the age of 22 on February 19, 2008. She will always be remembered by family and friends for her beautiful smile, contagious laugh, care for others over herself, and utter determination to live normally and happily.

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