Shelby Offrink and Ben : Parents of 2 Toddlers Both Battling Cancer

Shelby Offrink and Ben : Parents of 2 Toddlers Both Battling Cancer

The story of Ben and Shelby Offrink is heart-breaking. The Michigan parents are both fighting serious cases of cancer while raising two young kids, 3-year-old Maeve and 1-year-old Hazel.

Shortly after giving birth to Hazel prematurely, Shelby discovered she had Grade IV glioblastoma of the spine, one of the rarest forms of cancer.

Then in August, her husband Ben’s Hodgkins Lymphona returned for a third time. His first chemo treatment failed and he will have a second, but doctors say he will require a bone-marrow transplant.

“It’s just shocking, you know? At first it just seemed like a terrible dream,” Shelby’s younger brother Luke Tomczak told

Friends and family have rallied as Shelby receives treatment to extend her life. After months of radiation and chemo, last month doctors found three new tumours on Shelby’s brain.

“She has an intelligent, witty sense of humour and I’m really happy she has been able to maintain that throughout all of this,” Jay Tomczak, shelby’s older brother, said. “Shelby has always been the strongest person that I’ve known.”

Friends are fundraising for the couple via a web page, which also keeps donors up-to-date with the family’s progress.

Before the family were knocked by the double diagnoses, Shelby worked as an engineer and Ben was a stay-at-home dad.