Couple find out - just weeks apart - they both have stage 4 cancer
This is a story reminiscent of the book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, based on author Dave Eggers’ experience of losing his parents to cancer just 32 days apart some three decades ago.
Now this US couple have also found out they both have late-stage cancer.
And like the Eggers family, they have two boys.
In this case though, one of the boys is a special needs child.
In February, retired Department of Justice officer Laura Tomelloso was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
Just weeks later, her husband Michael, an officer of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Traffic Division, was told that he had stage 4 throat cancer, local media reports said.
Michael, 49, who has been a police officer for more than 25 years, can no longer work, and Laura’s cancer has spread to her ovaries.
"It's devastating," a family friend was quoted as saying. "They're both down. Neither of them can really do anything."
The couple have two sons, Mike Jr, 14, and Matthew, 10.
"They have been relying on friends, neighbours and church members in making life less challenging with their daily tasks and making their medical appointments, and to make Mike Jr. and Matthew's childhood as positive as possible," the police department said in a statement.
Matthew is a special needs child and is home-schooled. He used to attend therapy sessions with horses but can no longer do so.
The police department has set up a trust fund account to help raise money for the family, and offers of help have come in.
"[We hope to] make it as easy as possible for them to function and worry about their treatment and their health, rather than the money aspect of it," one of the officers was quoted as saying.
LAPD Central Motor Ofcr Michael Tomelloso & Wife Need HELP! Both are diagnosed with Stage 4 Cancer & need support as they fight this battle for their children, see photos. @lapdhq @KCBSKCALDesk @nbcLA @KTLAnewsdesk @KTLAMorningNews @nidia_b @abc7 @FOXLA @latimes @LaOpinionLA pic.twitter.com/KmFHpugMLP— LAPDCTD (@LAPDCTD24) November 21, 2022