TUCSON, Ariz — It's safe to say that nothing prepares you for cancer. Caregivers are a critical part of cancer care and they, too, struggle to balance hope and fear.
Val Romero's daughter has always been the center of his world.
And that world came crashing down -- 11 years ago -- when they both learned Megan had cancer.
She was just 15 years old.
"And as a father, you know you'll do anything for your kids. At that point, I felt helpless," And frightened, he said, because Megan had a rare form of tissue cancer.
"She was actually the sixtieth person in the world that had this one cancer," he said. She was diagnosed with Atypical Fibrous Histio-cytoma.
Val's business immediately took a backseat. He put his personal life on hold while doctors dealt with Megan's cancer.
As her caregiver, Val felt he needed to show strength. "I had to be the big, strong, brave dad be there for her. And I know at times when she wasn't around, just the emotions inside, you know, kind of showing the weakness, but I knew I couldn't let her see that side of me because I needed to be there for her."
Val said he can't imagine any caregiver doing this alone.
It's why he jumped at the chance to be involved in the Making Strides Real Men Wear Pink Fund-raising Campaign for cancer survivors and their families who need support, like rides to appointments.
'Or being able to be in groups where people that have already been through it so they know what to do and they have a support team to help them along the way," he said.
Having a positive attitude is critical to get through the rough spots. Val admired his daughter for being so brave throughout the battle. "I think she knew she was going to beat this thing. I don't think there was any any doubt in her mind. She was very strong," he said.
Megan -- just a teen at the time -- did beat it. Doctors removed the cancer. "So I think she knew that everything was going to be fine," he said.
The American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Tucson event is on October 20th at Armory Park, downtown Tucson.
Please consider donating or joining our KGUN9 Making Strides Team -- Click Here! !
For more about the Making Strides for Breast Cancer Walk -- Click Here! !