Reporting Lisa Sigell
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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Germel Ford knows that cancer does not just affect the person diagnosed, but his or her loved ones as well. That is why he is speaking out to show why support is so important.
“We were happy, we were very happy. If you look around at the pictures, honestly it was a piece of heaven,” he said.
Germel had the family he always dreamed of — his wife, Rocquilla, the love of his life, and two happy, healthy boys.
It all seemed so perfect — until it was not. That was not so long ago, when cancer came into their lives.
It was after the birth of their second son, Zachary, when Rocquilla noticed a lump. Within a week of seeing the doctor, she was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer.
“Our life went from being good to just flipping all the way around going in an opposite direction,” Germel said.
For four years she fought the aggressive cancer with surgeries, medications, chemotherapy, and radiation. But the cancer spread.
About a year and a half ago, she died at just 32-years old.
“I felt like I was put on this Earth to be with this woman. Vice versa, I felt like God created us for each other. And… now you know, you just. I feel incomplete because she’s not there anymore,” he said with tears in his eyes.
The loss is so clearly felt by their sons. Zachary, 6, has pictures of his mom under his bed.
“I love you,” he said to his mother.
“This is my mom,” said 10-year-old Xavier as he pointed up. “I want to be just like her. Smart, generous, kind, respectful.”
Life has changed so much for Germel. Becoming a single dad, he is trying to fill the role of two now — play time with his kids, homework, laundry, making dinner, and then off to work with at-risk kids.
It is not easy, but Germel said he is sure that his wife is watching over them.
“I’m just doing what I’m supposed to do. Just… you know, my kids love me, you know. When they come home they climb all over me and they’re looking out for me. ‘Day, it’s going to be alright,’ he said.
Germel said that he is telling his story to remind people that cancer affects the whole family.
“The little things. That helps people during these battles,” he said.
From friends and family cooking meals to babysitting the kids, it all helps give him strength.
This may not have been the life he imagined when he first laid eyes on his college sweetheart, but he would not trade a moment with his girl or his two boys for anything in the world.
“I hope everyone has a chance to experience a love like yours and mine,” he said.
Germel volunteers with Susan G. Komen for the Cure L.A. County and said he will not stop until there is a cure.
This year’s Race for the Cure is Saturday, March 24, at Dodger Stadium.