GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In March of 2009 Tracy Spark was given news no one wants to hear. Doctors had just found a tumor on her brain the size of a softball.
"Here, here in Alabama, they said you've got a year to a year and a half at best to live, " Sparks said. "And that's with chemo and radiation starting immediately. "
Sparks says neither she nor her husband would accept the diagnosis and began searching for alternatives. That search led them to Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina. Doctors there did something the doctors in Alabama had said was of no use, they did surgery and removed a large part of the tumor.
"Of course, I'm a fighter. I'm a fighter. And I have a very good team of people that back me. My family, my friends. My doctors. My faith is strong. You know, I'm not going to give up."
Sparks still has the tumor but it is under control with oral chemotherapy. She says the death of Brittany Maynard, who chose to end her own life, has been difficult to accept. She says she is not judging her choice, but that it's one she would have a difficult time making.
"My doctors in Duke that's one of their mottos is there is always hope. There is always hope."
Sparks, who suffers from the same type of brain cancer as Maynard, says she hopes more people don't follow in Maynard's footsteps.
"But you know, my message if, if somebody out there sees what she has done and says that's the way to do it, oh please don't. Please don't."