Family learns daughter is dying weeks after paying it forward

A local family with a proven desire to help others in need now hopes someone can help them in their darkest hour.

Roger Whatling and his wife Allison are watching cancer gradually chip away at their daughter's life.

"She's got a long way to go," he said. "It's not fair."

"Even the doctors are surprised at how aggressive this hit her," Allison said.

It was around this time last year the Whatling's thought 24-year-old Amanda Natho was in the clear.

Doctors had just removed a brain tumor and radiation treatments, had removed the cancer from the rest of her body.

"Oh I was ecstatic," Allison said. "She started going back to school, planning for a future in social work."

Their hope was short-lived. By October there were warning signs. 

"She started having pain in her left leg," Allison said. 

The cancer came back, spreading to her hip, pelvis, liver and bone marrow.

Last week doctors told her parents that Amanda has two months to live.

"It's surreal it's like a dream," Roger said. "Every morning I wake up, reminded that it's not.

The living nightmare gets worse. Amanda has three children of her own.

"It breaks my heart when she tells me that her youngest who is three, she tells me she's terrified that he's never going to remember her," Allison said.

"I'm supposed to protect her," Roger said. "There's nothing I can do except be here for her." 

The Whatlings are making the most of what little time they have left, while trying to make ends meet.

They're drowning in medical bills. Roger is on disability, Allison on leave from work and the cost to care for Amanda at home, is high.

"I don't want to make it sound negative because if I had all the money in the world, I could do it," Allison said. "So I'm going to rebudget and hope for the best."

There was another family saying that in December and the Whatlings were hope - realized.

Meijer paid for their $342 dollar grocery bill. and the Whatlings used the money they saved that night to help other families in need. One family in particular. 

"You know what goes around comes around and I guess we just have big hearts," Allison said to FOX 2 in December.

And for Amanda's sake here's to hoping they reap even more than what they've sown.

The Whatlings have already raised nearly $4,000 for Amanda's medical expenses, but will need a lot more to cover hospital bills, Amanda's care at home and her children. 

There are two online accounts to donate money to the family: CLICK HERE or HERE.

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