CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – A Canfield mother diagnosed with breast cancer one year ago says her family, especially her kids, helped her survive.
Learning a loved one has cancer changes the family dynamic. Through the unknown, you want to be strong and supportive to help them fight.
Marci Babbaro and her family won’t miss any of the undefeated Canfield Cardinals’ football games this season. It’s been about victory for her over cancer and victory for her son and nephew on the field.
“Last year, I feel like it’s amazing how something so ugly as cancer can bring something so good as your family being so much closer,” Marci said.
Back home, the family’s contagious laughter bursts from the kitchen. It’s pretty much nonstop in Marci’s household.
“You have to laugh. You have to laugh about it,” she said.
And there’s always lots of ice cream.
“My aunt’s first chemo, my mom went out and bought everyone pints of ice cream,” Daniel Kapalko said.
Through being together, the family learned to forget what doesn’t matter.
“We had to have a near-death experience to bring us together,” Daniel said.
Marci had a mastectomy last November and started chemotherapy in January.
“Your whole body hurts. I didn’t really notice how bad I felt until I started to feel better after it was done,” she said.
When she started losing her hair, together they embraced what made her stand out to support her through it.
“He henna’d my entire head and I said, ‘Why not? When am I ever going to get the chance to say I had my head henna’d?'” Marci said.
It hasn’t always been cheerful moments, of course.
“There was so many times that everybody would come over and I would think, ‘I do not want to have everybody over here right now,'” Marci said.
But now Marci’s finished with chemo — another victory for her and her family.
In other victories, Marci’s son, Paul Breinz, was awarded WKBN’s Player of the Game in Week 5 of high school football this year.