AURORA, Colo. -- For Mike and Kim Walline, family time has never felt so special.
“Every day is a blessing,” Kim Walline said.
Mike Walline, a Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy for 37 years, first met Kim on the job while she was working as a court reporter. They married and had two kids.
Everything seemed to be on the right track. The entire family was thrown off course when Kim was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that had metastasized to her spine.
“We certainly talk about prognosis,” Kim said. “We really don’t talk about it in terms of years. That’s certainly out there. I don’t choose to look at it that way.”
As the family coped with the diagnosis, Mike picked up extra hours at the sheriff’s office to pay medical bills and keep the family’s finances afloat.
When fatigue set in, Mike assumed it was from all the extra work until one night trouble breathing forced a trip to the emergency room.
“When you think things can’t get any worse, they certainly did for us,” Mike said.
The family was hit with another diagnosis. Mike is now fighting leukemia.
He’s hopeful a recent stem cell transplant will kick his cancer to the curb, but no one knows for sure if it will work. Their children, 18-year-old Thomas and 14-year-old Keira, have shown incredible strength throughout the struggle.
“It was really an opportunity to step back and kind of see life in a different way,” Thomas said.
While Mike waits to see if new stem cells will do the trick, Kim focuses on targeted pill therapy and radiation.
“There’s two forms of miracles for me,” Kim said. “One is my faith in our God and the second miracle is Western Medicine. I have faith in my doctors.”
It is that faith that keeps the family going with a whole new perspective on life and priorities. Mike and Kim are not working as they continue treatment.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family.