Mom Fighting Cancer: ‘Kids are the Best Blessing’
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Mother’s Day is usually a “timeout” for those who don’t get the appreciation they deserve throughout the year. But Katie Cunion doesn’t want to take a break from her husband or her two young kids.
“Being a mom is the best blessing you can have, actually. When people say it’s going to change your life, it really doesn’t do it justice because you wake up each morning and you have a purpose,” said Katie. Her life is all the more fulfilling because of her son, Will, and daughter, Jessica.
Both children are both autistic and Will is almost non-verbal.
“When he looks into my eyes and he gives me that look where you know it’s just complete unconditional love, here’s this person who’s just counting on you to make the best choices for them. It just, it makes you feel, needed,” said Katie.
A decade ago, soon after Will was born, when Katie was 27, she was diagnosed with cancer and her treatment required the amputation of her leg. But a chest scan recently revealed the cancer is back.
“Katie Cunion is a remarkable woman,” said her treating physician, Dr. Thomas Budd at the Cleveland Clinic. “She’s the kinda person – that no matter how ill she outta be feeling – she just makes you smile when she walks in the room. A really warm person and I’d have to say, a really brave person.”
Dr. Budd wants people to know Katie’s story, hoping they’ll learn from someone who has gone through so much.
“People wonder whether a positive attitude makes you do better, I think that’s very hard to say. But I do know it makes whatever time we have – and whatever time everybody else has around you – all the better,” said the doctor.
Katie sees her diagnosis as both heartbreaking and a blessing that keeps her focused.
“Choose to be happy, choose to live life, choose to put your children first,” said the mother of two, who refuses to take anything for granted. “I think I’m the kind of mom I am because there’s so many people that love and support me every day, and I’m very, very blessed to have all of them.”
Katie continues to work while undergoing her cancer treatment.