Gallup sisters fighting cancer together

Updated: 06/11/2014 12:42 PM | Created: 06/11/2014 12:38 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Just by looking at some Tom family pictures, you can see the bond has been there since the very beginning.

Ardith Tom is the oldest of four, and she fits it to a T: the role model, the protector. Someone who her younger sister, Cheri, has always looked up to.

But a few years ago, those roles switched when at just 25 years old, Ardith was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

"I started writing down numbers to make sure I knew what to do in an emergency. I just started to really be the one to take care of her," Cheri Tom said.

Sisters helping sisters. That's just how the Toms were raised.

A few months went by and with surgery and radiation, Ardith found out she was clear of cancer.

But this past Labor Day, she got sick again and found out the cancer was back.

"I didn't understand. I was like I, I should be done with this. I should be, you know, I, I was told I was OK, you know," Ardith said.

Even though she was feeling and thinking this, something inside Ardith knew this was preparing her to help someone else.

Exactly a month later, she found out that someone else was Cheri.

"My sister is already sick. Why and how could I be sick?" Cheri said.

Cheri had acute lymphoblastic leukemia. One family, two sisters–fighting for their lives.

"We're in and out of appointments. If I'm not at one, she's at one. It's learning how to take care of each other," Ardith said.

Maybe it's the way they were raised, but these sisters are trying to see things in a positive light. "I'd be pushing her around UNM calling each other chemo buddies," Ardith said.

Cheri is getting ready to relocate to San Antonio for a bone marrow transplant. If you'd like to help Cheri and her family, visit their fundraiser website.

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