Hilliard Mother Helps Kids Cope With Her Cancer
It's less than two weeks until the Race for the Cure, and it will include many breast cancer survivors.
Among them will be a Hilliard mother, who fought back against the disease for the sake of her children.
Stasi Trout of Hilliard calls encouragement to her daughter as she practices soccer in the backyard with her kids.
"Go in. Strike it," she hollers. "Drive it!"
Daughter Emory, 9, obliges with a solid kick into the net.
"Yeah, she scores!" Stasi cheers, and claps.
Stasi has a lot to cheer about.
Two years after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she is cancer-free.
But it was not the first time that her family had coped with cancer.
Nine years ago, her mom was diagnosed. When her kids, Eric and Emory, were toddlers, Stasi's mother-in-law died of breast cancer. Two years ago, the kids were nearby when she got the news of her own illness.
"I hung up the phone and my son, he was 9 at the time, said, ‘You have cancer, don't you?’ And I said, ‘I do.’ And Emory, who was 7, just said, ‘But you're going to be a survivor, right?’”
Stasi, a physical trainer, kept active.
She and husband Wayne, a physician, used books written for children to keep their kids informed.
One picture book was a gift from a nun, who brought Stasi communion in the hospital. Stasi found another book online.
"We were just pretty honest and let them know step by step what we thought was going to happen," she says.
At first, Emory worried.
"That she wasn't going to be able to do a lot of things that she normally did, and that we wouldn't be able to talk to her for a little bit of time," Emory says.
But Stasi did talk to her kids, and kept working despite surgery and chemotherapy. The kids soon relaxed and stepped up.
Eleven-year-old Eric explain said that he and his sister had to take on more responsibility.
"After her first surgery she was really tired. We had to do a lot more chores,” he said.
Stasi thinks her brush with breast cancer changed her children for the better, made them more compassionate and resilient.
"You know, sometimes you're going to get things thrown at you that you completely don't expect. And you have to work with them, and reach out to people for help, and you'll get through it," Stasi says.
Though their families live out of town, she says neighbors and friends provided a lot of support as well.
Eric kicks a soccer ball around a sign that advertises the Race for the Cure on May 18.
"The only different thing really is...my mom has shorter hair,” he says with a grin, “and I wear a lot more pink."
At the Race for the Cure, the Trout family will have a team of more than 100 people, called Stasi's Survivors.
While team registration is finished, individuals can sign up online through Wednesday.
After that, they can register at an area mall, or even the morning of the Race for the Cure.
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