Men's Health

Michigan mom, dad both fighting cancer as family looks after their two young daughters

Photo courtesy Fox 17

 (Photo courtesy Fox 17)

A Michigan couple fighting cancer is determined to beat their diagnoses not only for themselves, but also for their two young daughters, 9 News reported. 

After giving birth prematurely in December 2013 to their youngest daughter Hazel, Shelby Offrink was diagnosed with stage IV glioblastoma. In January 2015, after undergoing several rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, doctors discovered three new tumors on the 31-year-old mom’s brain.

Amidst her cancer battle, Shelby’s husband, Ben, learned that his Hodgkin’s lymphoma was back for a third time.

"It feels really unfair to have all of this happen," Jay Tomczak, Shelby's older brother, told the news station.

Neither Ben, a 34-year-old stay-at-home dad, nor Shelby, an engineer, is working, and their medical bills are piling up. But their family and friends are looking after 3-year-old Maeve and 1-year-old Hazel, and news of how the girls are doing is keeping the couple going.

"There is support all around her, so we feed off of that," Luke Tomczak, another one of Shelby’s brothers, told 9 News.

Shelby is in the process of undergoing more chemotherapy and radiation, and Ben’s first round of chemotherapy proved ineffective. He will reportedly have one more round before receiving a bone marrow transplant.

“Seeing him get weaker has been a really hard thing. We love him like a brother and are there to support him as much as we can,” Jay told 9 News.

"We are hoping and praying for him to have that go well this time around,” Luke said.

Jay applauded his sister’s ability to maintain a sense of humor through her family’s hardship.

“Shelby has always been the strongest person that I’ve known,” Jay told 9 News.

Click for more from 9 News.