GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan husband and wife who are dad and mom to two little girls are both battling for their lives against cancer. This week, Shelby and Ben Offrink extended their thanks to all those who have heard their story and been moved to help them.
Shelby was diagnosed in February 2014 with one of the rarest forms of cancer: Grade IV glioblastoma of the spine. The condition and side effects include incredible pain and even paralysis at times.
Shortly after Shelby's diagnosis last year, Ben learned his Hodgkin’s lymphoma had relapsed for a third time since 2002.
The couple is now going through regular chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“I think they’re an inspiration for us,” said Kristy Hendricks, a long-time friend of Shelby’s.
Ben and Shelby did not feel comfortable talking on camera as they continue to go through their treatments, but did make a point to extend their thanks and appreciation to all who have helped and donated.
“We’ve said we’re not shocked by the support but (Shelby) is. From the very beginning, as soon as the gifts, donations, prayers, and well wishes started rolling in, she couldn’t believe it. She’s incredibly grateful,” friend Abbey Mix said.
In the past year, there have been several fundraisers and thousands of dollars raised to help pay the Offrinks' medical expenses and other expenses like daycare for their two children.
A YouCaring.com account has been set up in the family’s name, and donations can also be submitted at the Huntington Bank location in on E. Main Street in Lowell, Michigan. Checks can be made out to the Offrink Family Donation Fund.