Rockford native Savannah Strandin beats cancer and shines on stage

Rockford native Savannah Strandin smiles during a chemotherapy session in 2018.

If Savannah Bay Strandin could go back and change her cancer diagnosis, she wouldn’t.

“I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t been diagnosed,” said Strandin, 27, who planned to move to New York after graduating from Western Illinois University and take the musical theater world by storm.

In the spring of 2018, after a year and a half as a professional actress, she started doing just that, preparing for production in Houston. Then she got body aches and an unusual tiredness. Because she had classic symptoms, doctors initially told her she had mononucleosis and that getting lots of rest was the best medicine.

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