COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WKBN) – A mother and daughter in Columbiana embarked on a unique journey battling a disease that affects so many women.
Linda Simplican was diagnosed early last year with stage one breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy and radiation and got the “all clear.” Just six months later, Simplican’s daughter Carrie Rayl got the results of a recent mammogram and news was not good.
“They officially diagnosed me January 26. So, six months after my mom’s breast surgery, I got diagnosed with cancer,” Rayl said.
For Rayl and her mom, losing a loved one to cancer was something they’ve already been through. Rayl’s brother passed away from brain cancer at a young age. She says the hardest part was breaking her news to her mom.
“To tell mom that you have cancer when she’s already gone through that journey is just hard,” Rayl said. “I felt bad. I didn’t want to put her through it again. I told her I am going to be fine.”
For Simplican, having just gone through her own battle with breast cancer, she knew better than anyone how to be there for her daughter.
“I was thinking,’ OK, I have to be there to support her and show her to remain strong and be positive, because that is part of it, being strong and staying positive,'” Simplican said.
Rayl’s lumpectomy showed cancer in her lymph node. She went through eight chemotherapy treatments over four months.
She was also only the fifth person in the area to go through active breathing control techniques during treatment.
Watch: Mother, daughter take about importance of support during cancer diagnosis
Rayl made an inspiration board with messages and dozens of cards from family, friends and even strangers.
She supported her mom in the 2016 Panerathon and then this past year it was “Carrie’s Crew,” which was started by her husband to support his wife’s journey.
Today both women are able to say that they are cancer free, but their lives have been changed forever. They say they don’t sweat the small stuff and enjoy each day. They credit their faith for that and they don’t ask why.