Mia Love talks about cancer diagnosis and faith

Aug 19, 2023, 9:00 PM | Updated: Aug 21, 2023, 10:26 am

Former Utah congresswoman Mia Love gives an emotional talk at the Together in Christ Utah YSA Confe...

Former Utah congresswoman Mia Love gives an emotional talk at the Together in Christ Utah YSA Conference at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. Love detailed in her speech that she has been battling brain cancer for the last year and a half. (Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

(Spenser Heaps/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Mia Love, who served as a United States Congresswoman for Utah’s 4th Congressional District from 2015 to 2019, spoke to young Latter-day Saints at a YSA Area Conference about her battle with brain cancer.

She said that the life-changing experience with her health fit perfectly with the theme of the conference held in downtown Salt Lake on Saturday evening, themed “Together in Christ.”

“About a year and a half ago,” she started, “I went on vacation with my family. As soon as we landed, I felt a headache come on. When we went to the beach, the reflection of the sun on the water made the headache worse. My husband took me to the hospital.”

After an X-ray, the doctor found the cause of the headache, a tumor in her brain.

They quickly went home to Utah, and after surgery that removed 95% of the tumor, Love tried to maintain positivity, hoping the tumor was benign.

It wasn’t.

It was a Grade 4, fast-growing tumor. Doctors told Love she had about 10 to 15 months to live.

“Why would God do this to me?” she asked.

She worried. She worried about her children losing their mother. And worried about her husband, who had lost his mother to brain cancer.

Additionally, she worried that others would accept her fate before she passed away. “I was afraid that I would be ‘tossed away’, she explained, “that I would be as good as buried while I was still alive.”

“Where are the miracles?” she said.

“Have you asked?” said her friend as they walked together, “Have you asked specifically for miracles in your life?”

“At that moment, I decided to ask for miracles,” Love said, “I chose to believe promises made to me and to act in faith.”

Mia’s miracle

She then started a clinical immunotherapy trial at Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University in North Carolina. The trial was overseen by Dr. Henry Friedman, a neuro-oncologist and the center’s deputy director.

The experimental treatment started in January. The treatment aimed to use her body’s immune system to attack the cancerous tumor.

And it has shown results; now, the tumor is shrinking eight months later. 

The goal isn’t to keep the cancer down. The goal is to cure her cancer. Nothing short of a miracle.

Friedman told her that if he had anything to say about it, she would live a “good, long life.”

On July 10, 2023, she surpassed the original prognosis as she hit the 15-month mark on a family vacation to Italy.

She wanted the young church members to know that no trial is too big for God. She also encouraged her audience to “Ask for your miracle.”

Related: Getting to better conversations on race with Mia Love, acknowledgment is everything


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Mia Love talks about cancer diagnosis and faith