BARGERSVILLE, Ind. – A new mom diagnosed with a rare form of cancer used her 8-month-old daughter as a source of strength to keep fighting. Less than a year later, she was called to do the same for her father, who was also diagnosed with cancer.
In July 2016, doctors told Abby Mentzer she had anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare form of cancer. For months, while undergoing chemotherapy, she relied on her parents and daughter Avelyn for support.
"Nobody ever wants to experience pain, and then when it comes knocking on your door you don't have a choice so you do what you have to do and you get through it,” said Mike Herron, Mentzer’s father. “She said she had to get through it for her family and for Avelyn.”
In December, Mentzer rang the cancer-free hospital bell with her daughter in her arms, but during that time, a lump was growing in her father’s chest.
Herron was diagnosed with Squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.
"I thought it doesn't matter what it is because I'm not going to get anything started with my own health until I'm sure Abby's ok,” said Herron. “I thought you know, am I going to be around to see my granddaughter grow up.”
Just as Avelyn did for her mother, she was also able to give strength to her grandfather. Following treatments, doctors said Herron was cancer free.
"We cherish every day and just the fact that we're here and healthy," he said.
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