A family's brave battle
CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- What would you do, if doctors told you you had weeks to live?That is what Emily O'Reilly and her husband have had to consider after an 18 month-long battle of a rare form of cancer. They have three children 4-years-old and under. Are they too young to have memories? These are the things the 35-year-old mother has to think about now. She wants people to know about this cancer rising worldwide. Emily said she's living everyday as if it were her last. Big brother Henry is 4-years-old."What I really want is for Henry to have a memory so he can have a memory of me and tell his sisters," said Emily.Emily has an incurable cancer. Cholangio-carcinoma originates in the bile ducts. It's rare and rising worldwide. It used to be mostly in older men but not anymore. Emily connects with an online support group, "There is a 31-year-old diagnosed with a boy who is three, a 40-year-old woman with a 9-year-old."Everyone in Cincinnati saw what Lauren Hill went through and now Emily is going through the same thing. No one is talking about cholangio-carcinoma because nobody's heard of it. Emily had no identifiable risk factors such as cirrhosis of the liver and no warning signs, such as itching jaundice or pain.The girls were 10-months-old when Emily felt a mass on her side. The tumor in her liver was already too large for surgery or a transplant."You're your own advocate. Know your body, I felt a mass, I wish I would have felt it sooner," said Emily.That was 18 months ago. The young couple married five years seemed to have it all. Emily with the Welling Group Therapy Practice she started in Montgomery and Scott was a respected assistant prosecutor in Clermont County known for taking on child abuse cases.Scott said, "I always believe there is good and evil. Evil people deserve justice, this isn't justice."Now, after chemotherapies, radiation and clinical trials, the cancer spread to Emily's spine. They pray for a miracle but for now, life is about making memories for tomorrow, including a video in Ault Park where the children often play.When they can read, each child will have a journal with messages from their mother. Emily hopes the children can remember what she tells them every day."Mom and I are one. Can you say that? Mom and I are one, I love it when you say that," Emily said to Henry.Photos before Emily lost her hair to chemo are on the wall in the O'Reilly home. There are new ones, how she looks now, also in Ault Park.Emily said, "I'm wanting a bench in Ault Park so my kids don't have to visit a grave site."That bench is already up thanks to family and friends. Now Gabrielle, Grace and Henry can go there and remember their mother.The bench is engraved, "Enjoy the sunshine. Loving mother to Henry, Gabrielle and grace. Mom and I are One." There is a Facebook page called, "Lets Get Emily Well" where people can send her messages of support.
CLICK HERE for a link to the GoFundMe account set up to help pay for the huge medical bills.