Entire Family Diagnosed With Cancer
A North Carolina family has somehow managed to stay strong and positive through each member facing cancer diagnoses and harsh treatments over the past 17 years. Through dating, marriage and eventual adoption, it seems that the disease has followed the family every step of their lives together. Via People:
If it weren’t true, it would be unbelievable. Three family members – a mother, father and their son – all diagnosed with cancer.
Jay Siltzer is the morning anchor at WLOS-TV, the ABC affiliate in Asheville, North Carolina. The 48-year-old was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in January 1999. He had surgery and radiation and was doing well until the cancer came back and wrapped around his spine.
This time, doctors were less sure of his prognosis. Again, he had surgery and radiation. He also had chemotherapy treatments. Siltzer, who was treated by Lance Armstrong’s doctor, was warned that it would be probably be tough for him to have children. The possibility that he couldn’t have kids worried him, but he didn’t dwell on it. He’d only been dating his then girlfriend, Kelly, a few months.
The couple married in 2000 and life was good – for awhile. They tried desperately to have kids. “We hit a wall at every turn,” Siltzer says. Five years later, they met and fell in love with Malachi, the little boy they would adopt from Ethiopia.
Everything was happy for the new family for some time — until Kelly was stricken with a rare form of luekemia in 2011. Unfortunately after a three-year battle of surgeries and radiation, Kelly passed away in 2014, leaving Jay a single father to Malachi.
But then, news got even worse for the family.
In another cruel twist of fate, just as the father and son were adjusting to a new normal, Malachi woke up last November with a headache. An MRI showed it was a grade-three brain tumor – a large mass on the left side of the little boy’s brain.
Malachi has had two brain surgeries to remove the tumor, radiation and ongoing weekly chemo treatments.
His speech is slowly coming back, but he still hasn’t learned to read again.
When asked about the incredible fact that all three family members were diagnosed with cancer, he says, “I don’t let myself go there, that would be a dark place. I suppose I could ask, ‘Why me?’ but the answer is ‘Why not?’ I’m a person of faith, and I trust good will come from this.”
WOW. It has to take some incredible strength to go through all this family has and still stay positive and pushing forward each day. Send some prayers up for Jay and Malachi.
People.com / Jay Siltzer