Young Duluth woman shares steadfast spirit in midst of cancer battle

Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 1:35 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - From academics to athletics, Tallie Boheim was involved in just about everything in high school.

She graduated from Duluth Denfeld in 2021 and started college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay that fall.

The 19-year-old quickly made friends, but something didn’t seem quite right.

“I was really sick like the whole second semester of school, and then once I came home, my respiratory got really bad, so finally my mom was like, ‘We’re going to urgent care,’ which is probably smart,” Tallie said. “We probably should’ve done that a long time ago.”

Then Tallie went from urgent care to the hospital.

“I had a plethora of doctors coming in: lung doctors, heart doctors, a bunch of specialists, and no one could figure out what it was,” she said.

Dena Boheim, Tallie’s mother, said June 3, 2022, is a day their family will never forget.

“The doctor came in saying, ‘This could be leukemia, but we think it might be this other thing,’” Dena said. “He came back an hour and a half later, and we knew. Tallie and I looked at each other and grabbed hands and prepared for the worst.”

So began a summer of grueling treatment.

With the leukemia diagnosis, a blood clot in her brain, and a seizure, progress hardly felt linear.

Tallie said what brought her some respite was blood transfusions.

“I would get super nauseous,” Tallie said. “I had no appetite. I had no energy. I literally couldn’t even stand up. It was terrible, and when I had my first transfusion, I was literally a whole new person. Blood is unlike any other medication I’ve ever had. It was insane.”

Receiving countless blood transfusions, Tallie sees the importance of donors firsthand.

“It’s saved me so many times,” she said. “I would go to the hospital, and I would get my two units of blood and I would go home completely different.”

Tallie has a long road ahead in her cancer battle, but her spirit remains steadfast.

“Throughout it all, she has remained strong and positive and smart and an advocate for herself, so she’s just been amazing through this,” Dena said. “People ask me how we do it, and it’s easy when you’ve got somebody as strong and smart as she is. She’s pretty amazing.”

Tallie is about to enter the “delayed intensification” period, which means fewer hospital stays for her chemo treatments.

She also hopes to resume her college courses online as soon as she can.

“I just tell myself that I know I’m going to be fine, and I know I’m going to be okay, and it sucks right now like it really sucks right now obviously because it’s cancer, but I know I’m going to be fine,” Tallie said.

If you are interested in becoming a donor, Northern News Now and Memorial Blood Centers are hosting a two-day blood drive this week.

The event runs Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

It is happening at Pier B Resort Hotel in Duluth.

Click here for more information on how to sign up for an appointment.