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Both Parents of Toddlers Fighting Cancer

The Short of It

Michigan mom Shelby Offrink has an incurable form of spine cancer and her husband Ben is battling Hodgkin's lymphoma. The couple, who are both in their 30s, are parents to 1-year-old Hazel and 3-year-old Maeve.

The Lowdown

Shortly after giving birth to Hazel, Shelby Offrink visited doctors for what she thought was sciatica, but it turned out to be a rare and incurable form of spine cancer. The cancer has now moved to her brain, and she's been diagnosed with Stage IV glioblastoma.

Months into dealing with his wife's illness, Ben Offrink found out Hodgkin's lymphoma had returned for a third time. He had battled the cancer as a teen and even underwent a bone marrow transplant, but the disease returned.

The prognosis for both is poor; Shelby has been given only six months to live and Ben about a year, but they both are fighting to live for their daughters. They are seeking out clinical trials and cancer specialists in other cities who may have treatment options not available in Grand Rapids, Mich., where they live. They are also focused on spending as much time as they can with their children.

The Upshot

Family members have stepped up, offering to care for the Offrinks' daughters if they lose their battles and organizing a fund-raising page to help pay for medical bills, household expenses, and any other support they require. Despite the bleak prognosis, the Offrinks are trying to keep a positive outlook and show their daughters there's a lot to live for and laugh about.

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