Her son AJ Erickson of Burr ridge said he walked the Disney Princess half marathon at Disney World in 2014 with Stephanie, two years into her battle with a carcinoid, a rare neuroendocrine tumor.
And they finished it.
"I had done no training," AJ said, "And she was still pushing me along. I had a hard time keeping up with her."
In that regard, Stephanie taught and led by word and example.
"One of her phrases was 'make a decision and live with it,'" AJ said. "And she held us to that. She help guide us to make a decision, but once we made it, she held us to it."
Janet Casciari of California, Stephanie's oldest sister said that, two years after that half marathon, Stephanie, Janet and family members also participated in the Tinkerbell 10K in California.
However, Stephanie passed on the half marathon the next day. But loved ones felt her spirit.
For instance Stephanie, shortly after her diagnosis and beginning of chemotherapy, also traveled to California to support her loved ones in the Nike Women's half marathon, Janet said.
Stephanie had no strength to run, although she had originally planned to run. But she showed up to support everyone else.
"She was mad and she was going to fight this [the carcinoid] and she was not going to let it interfere with her life," Janet said.
Where did Stephanie acquire her bold drive?
Dental school, Janet said.