Iowa prep volleyball player survives life-threatening brain tumor and plays at state

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Waverly-Shell Rock volleyball player Claire Marsh made a miraculous recovery from a brain tumor last year and played in the Iowa state tournament this week. Rodney White/The Register

CEDAR RAPIDS, Ia. — Setter Claire Marsh ran the Waverly-Shell Rock volleyball squad at the state tournament Tuesday, passing the ball and urging on her teammates.

Most of the fans watching her final Iowa high school match, a Class 4A state tournament quarterfinal loss to Council Bluffs Lewis Central, had no idea what Marsh had gone through a year prior to get back on the court.

During the summer before her junior year, Marsh underwent life-saving brain surgery to remove a tumor on her pituitary gland.

Her head had pounded from the pain, a headache that wouldn’t go away. The tumor, about an inch in diameter, pressed up against her optic nerve, clouding her vision.