SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Thousands of Aztecs fans have made the trip to Las Vegas to cheer on the team during the conference tournament. But one fan in particular has overcome a life-threatening illness to attend the games with her family.
Pat Stinebaugh is the matriarch of the Stinebaugh family, and she's also an Aztecs fan.
“I'm their biggest, oldest cheerleader. I get up and wave my pom poms and yell. We just have a great time,” she said.
But seven months ago, Pat and her family received horrific news. Doctors discovered a tumor in her brain, spreading, and the prognosis was bleak.
“When you're diagnosed to go untreated and you're given six weeks to live, you're gonna have to work a miracle to keep you around,” said Steve, Pat’s son.
Prior to diagnosis Pat, a registered nurse, had her opinion about battling cancer.
“I always said, don't do heroic measures to save my life. If it's time, it's time,” she noted.
“When you're faced with that in front of your face, you may say in the past ‘just let me go,' but when the option is I'm gonna breathe air or I'm gonna be put in the ground, you choose to breathe,” continued Steve.
Pat decided to breathe.
“I think I surprised the family by telling them that and they were all really happy and so am I,” said Pat.
Her battle with the disease was clearly more difficult on the family than it was on pat.
“I have no idea how I reacted or what I felt. I don't remember anything,” Pat said.
“The fact she doesn't remember I'm glad, but I do remember and I would never want that on my worst enemy. For the family members to go through that it was very tough,” added Steve.
While Pat lost short-term memory of her recovery, she is sharp as a tack on the long term things.
Her advice to others battling cancer?
“Every day, when you get up, say ‘it's gonna be a good day' and do what you can do, and if you have take a nap in the afternoon, that's okay,” explained Pat.
Steve said his mom's battle with cancer has drawn the family closer together and this year's annual trip to Las Vegas to follow the Aztecs is far more meaningful than years past.