(WJW) – Tracy McCool is sharing messages from the heart. It’s the first time she’s spoken about how she and the children are doing since losing husband and father, John.

John died earlier this month after a brave, five-year fight with colon cancer.

She recorded a message for the FOX 8 team and Northeast Ohio to share an update.

“I miss you all so much! I feel like I’ve been caught up in a tornado for years, swirling around at 130 mph.  Life was so chaotic!! Then one day… it stopped. That’s the only way I can explain it. I know there are so many other people stuck in this awful storm. It breaks my heart.  I miss John so much it hurts. The kids miss him.  Cassidy and Carter have been my rock. We are at peace knowing John is no longer suffering.  We know he wants us to carry on,  just like he did for so many years. He waged this war for me,  Cassidy and Carter. He also wanted to help others along the way. He was a force!

I hope to return to work soon, but I could not go another day without saying thank you to so many of you who wrapped your arms around us and held us tight.  John and I were blown away by the outpouring of support when John was first diagnosed in 2018. It was stage 4 colon cancer that had already metastasis to his bones. It was chemo for the rest of his life. We were terrified, paralyzed by fear and had no idea what was ahead of us. The cards, messages, posts filled with love, encouragement and compassion gave us the strength to take that first step forward. We hit the ground running!! It didn’t stop there. You took the time to follow us. You shared your own stories of triumph, love, and loss. You cheered us on even though you were in a similar fight. You stopped to tell us that you or a loved one got tested because of John’s story. That meant a lot to HIM!  John’s name was on many prayer lists. We felt those prayers!  You gave us so much hope.  We knew we were not alone in this battle. I wish I could reach out to each and every one of you, give you a big hug and kiss to say thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I want you to know what an amazing family I have here. I remember the day John was diagnosed; our life was turned upside down. The bosses here Paul, Andy, Marc and Jessica said, “Whatever you need, we are here for you.” They went out of their way to protect our family through a pandemic, they helped make dreams come true. They gave me the most precious gift anyone could ever ask for, and that is TIME. Time to be the best wife, mother, and caregiver I could be, given the circumstances. I can’t say enough about my sweet co-workers! They all held my hand through this day after day, I always had a sympathetic ear, they’d check in on us, even as they were going through their own struggles. I will cherish their friendship forever and ever. I want to express my gratitude to Chris and Carrie Gibilisco (long-time producers) for putting together such a beautiful tribute for John and a spectacular sendoff for his celebration of life. It was amazing! This is my home away from home, where I belong with people I love so very much. They are family.

John is a survivor! He didn’t lose his battle with cancer. He fought like crazy until the very end.  I want him to keep winning.  John’s mission his entire life was to help others. Colon cancer is one of THE most preventable, treatable and curable cancers if it’s caught early. The test is easy. John was in his 40’s but started showing signs years before. Like so many others, he brushed them off and wasn’t aware of his family history. The most painful thing about all of this is that the love of my life is no longer here on earth, and it didn’t have to be this way. He carried a lot of guilt.  So, please learn something from our story.   John’s message to all of you: “Listen to your body, don’t brush off the subtle signs, know your family history and go get your colonoscopy and spread the word!

I can’t wait to see everyone. Again, the fact that so many of you took the time out of your busy lives to think about us is just so incredible. We are forever grateful for your love and support.”