Dearborn woman's battle with sinus cancer, DPD bust illegal car crushing operation, a trailblazing designer

In 2016, Valerie Page of Dearborn would make a big career move. After decades in the dental profession - she decided to open her own cosmetic teeth whitening spa.

But around the same time - something else life-changing happened.

"I was upset, scared of course you hear cancer you think it is the end of the world," she said. "I constantly had a ringing in my ear, all day - all night. (I had) a lot of problems, but I never expected to hear ‘sinus cancer.’"

The sinus infections Valerie thought she had been battling for nearly three years, were actually symptoms of sinus cancer.

She had a polyp removed that had been blocking her nasal passage, and tests revealed it was a cancerous tumor.

A second opinion brought her to the Karmanos Cancer Institute, where Dr. Adam Folbe specializes in head and neck surgeries.

"It's curable if it is caught early," said Dr. Adam Folbe. "Things to look for, are like, when one nasal cavity is blocked more than the other. So nasal congestion that is unilateral or one-sided, nose bleeds, numbness in your cheeks - that could be a sign of cancer. Or it could be a change in vision, and loss in smell and taste."

The problem is that other symptoms mirror allergies, the common cold, and even Covid.

Valerie luckily caught the rare cancer early and had the tumor removed but the cancer came back - this time in the front of her skull. That required a more invasive surgery with radiation and caused some complications.

But five years later, Valerie is able to manage her pain and live a full life with her family - cancer free.

Now she wants to help others and bring awareness to sinus cancer.

Valerie is starting the nonprofit 'Unseen Warriors of Head and Neck Cancer.' She says she is putting part of her profits from her Advanced Smile lab to also provide resources to those suffering from this rare head and neck cancer.

"So this is very important, because if she makes people aware of these specific symptoms – then they can start thinking, 'It's been more than a month, I am going to stop going to urgent care and taking antibiotics, I am going to a specialist to diagnose this,'" said Dr. Folbe.

"Maybe you can save someone’s life," she said. "Because it can be a very aggressive cancer - thank God mine wasn’t."

We are told that two in 2,000 people are diagnosed with sinus cancer.

Detroit police bust illegal car crushing operation

Detroit police uncovered an illegal car crushing operation in the city, arresting two for their connection to the junkyard. According to police sources, suspects at the Auto Planet on Schafer Highway were allegedly using fraudulent paperwork to cover up the crushing of hundreds of stolen vehicles. 

On the grounds, police found smashed cars as well as an illegal marijuana grow operation within one of the buildings. The Commercial Auto Theft Unit within the Detroit Police Department busted the suspects Wednesday afternoon.

It happened in the 8800 block of Schafer near Joy Road. The suspects are facing multiple charges including running a commercial enterprise. 

Last week, Detroit police came across a separate chop shop where they found the parts to at least seven different cars. One man was arrested during the break-up. During the inspection, authorities said they found stolen auto parts worth more than $100,000. 

Ford's first Black female car designer tells her story

Emeline King was Ford's first Black woman designer. It was a glass ceiling she planned on breaking when she was still a child. Her dad, Earnest King, worked as a fabrication specialist at Ford. Then, at the company Christmas party at the Design Center, the idea was sparked.

"He said in order to get behind those blue doors - first of all, you have to be a transportation designer because there are men who sit behind these doors and they design cars," she said. So she made a promise. 

"I must have been about 11 that there were three things I was going to do. And number one was to become a transportation designer - the second was to work there at the Ford Motor Company - and the third was to work there with my biggest mentor of all - my father," she said.

She was confident that her education and her qualifications were enough. Her dad had little reason to feel any different. It would change the design of Ford vehicle forever. "I'm coming from it from a woman, or a female point of view," she said. "I was thinking about not breaking a fingernail - making sure the knobs were soft. I was making sure that in my design features for the 1994 Mustang that we'd be able to get in and out of the vehicle without splitting a skirt."

School bus crash on west Michigan highway

Several kids were injured after a school bus traveling northbound on US-127 rolled over late Wednesday afternoon. More than a dozen police and emergency teams responded to the crash near Fremont Road. 

Witnesses say the school bus, which was carrying 24 students and three adults from the Ithaca School District, went off the roadway to the left, then re-entered the roadway and continued off the roadway to the right, causing it to overturn. 

Eighteen students were taken by bus to Shepherd High School for parent reunification. According to police, one student was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Eight students were taken to another regional hospital with seven being treated for minor injuries and one for an apparent broken arm. 

The driver and an adult chaperone were also receiving treatment at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The parent reunification methodology utilized today was from years of partnerships and training conducted by the post with local agencies and emergency managers, police said. 

Flat Rock identifies source of latest contamination

The city of Flat Rock has identified the latest source of a chemical leak in its backwater systems as an abandoned underground storage tank. During investigations of the surrounding environment, radar and old site maps helped guide an excavator to the tank, which is near the Huroc Park property. 

Authorities from the state's environmental department used a curtain boom in the city's backwaters to contain the hazardous material, which appears similar to that of the tank that was located by authorities.

It's been underground "for many years" and the material inside had a similar appearance to the material found in the backwater. Samples have since been sent to the Coast Guard for analysis. Results are still waiting.

Crews first identified the chemical leak on Feb. 21 when a fisherman found an oily substance present in the backwater running parallel to the Huron. The potential contaminants led to the closure of Huroc Park. It will reopen March 4.

What else we're watching

  1. I-75 is closing this weekend in Oakland County for scheduled bridge demolition. The highway shutdown will cut off access to traffic from I-696 to Square lake Road. Woodward Avenue will be the primary detour for drivers to take.
  2. One person was taken into custody after a brief standoff with police in the 16800 block of Forrer. Preliminary information found a person returned fire after shots were fired into a house. When police arrived, that person ran back into the house before exiting. One person inside was shot, but they are in stable condition.
  3. Both Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist are hopping on the pothole repair train this week. The governor ordered a new directive to speed up repairs while Gilchrist is joining road repair crews Thursday to fix a portion of roadway with MDOT.
  4. Both Campus Martius and the downtown skyline will be illuminated in blue and yellow in solidarity with Ukraine and Michigan's native community to the country currently being invaded by Russia.
  5. The state of Michigan is suing a hydroelectric company after the alleged mismanaged drawdown of lake levels choked a 30-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River, killing wildlife and threatening public safety.

Live on FOX 2

Daily Forecast

A colder Thursday is upon us as two-day period of cooler temperatures are expected to free Michigan until the weekend. Plan on a 60-degree day Sunday as the region tries to breakaway from winter. 

Trump engaged in 'criminal conspiracy' Jan. 6 panel claims

The House Committee investigating the U.S. Capitol insurrection said Wednesday night that its evidence shows former President Donald Trump and his associates engaged in a "criminal conspiracy" to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the presidential election, spread false information about it and pressured state officials to overturn the results.

The committee made the claims in a filing in response to a lawsuit by Trump adviser John Eastman. Eastman, a lawyer who was consulting with Trump as he attempted to overturn the election, is trying to withhold documents from the committee as it investigates the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. The committee argued there is a legal exception allowing the disclosure of communications regarding ongoing or future crimes.

"The Select Committee also has a good-faith basis for concluding that the President and members of his Campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States," the committee wrote in a filing submitted in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.