ALL the News about
Mormons, Mormonism
and the LDS Church
Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
For week ended August 15, 1999 Posted 29 Aug 1999

Site Index Mormon Groups Local News Other Mormon Churches Internet People Business Sports Arts & Entertainment Politics Media Attention Service History & Scripture Finance & Legal Stake & Local CES/BYU/SVC Missions & Temples General Authorities Churchwide News Upcoming Events Home Site Index Archives



Mormon News By E-Mail!
About Mormon News by E-mail


List Rules

List Archives

About Mormon News

Reporting Bad Links

Finding Bad Links
BYU grad earns degree despite huge setbacks

Summarized by Donna Williams

BYU grad earns degree despite huge setbacks
Deseret News 11Aug99 L5
By Jeff Call: Deseret News staff writer

The average student's complaints about pressures and problems of juggling the demands of college life pale beside the trials and troubles David Frantz overcame to successfully complete his graduate program. During his years at BYU, Frantz faced many unique challenges. First, he learned his wife had contracted a rare, debilitating illness. Then his son was born prematurely and struggled to live. Later, Frantz dealt with the death of his wife, became a single parent and eventually remarried all while pursuing a master's degree and conducting rigorous cancer-related research.

Frantz's challenges began four years ago when his wife, Debbie was diagnosed with scleroderma, a disease that causes skin tissue to thicken; it can affect internal organs and gradually immobilizes victims' bodies and has no known cure.

Then Debbie became pregnant, and her doctor recommended she have an abortion because of her failing health. Instead, Debbie gave birth to a son, Brian, who weighed just 2 pounds, 1 ounce. The baby spent three months in intensive care with a hospital bill of $250,000. Brian was given just a 50 percent chance of survival.

Frantz worked to keep up with his master's research involving the effects of garlic on colon cancer cells while caring for his ill wife and child. "I was going to classes sometimes with my son and his heart monitor," he recalls. "My wife and son were going to doctors' appointments three times a week. ... There were days when I wondered, 'Why am I doing this?' It was overwhelming."

Frantz credits understanding faculty members, especially Merrill Christensen, for working with him to postpone his research while he took care of his family concerns. "Dr. Christensen never lowered his standards, but he bent over backwards to make sure I got through the program," he said.

Finally after four years, Frantz was able to complete his two-year graduate program. In 1998, his wife Debbie died after a valiant struggle against her illness. Frantz recently remarried, and he and his wife, Catherine, are raising Brian, who today is a happy, normal 3 1/2-year-old.

"I've been blessed," Frantz said.. "With my training and background in research, I want to study and treat patients with scleroderma. I want to put myself in a position to give back. Hopefully I can take the techniques I've used to help other people."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information