Mom Who Cared for Her Kids With Cancer Now Faces Same Fight

Penny Guyer was diagnosed 20 years after her son and months after her daughter.

— -- A Pennsylvania mom of two has been staring cancer in the face for more than 20 years.

“It was very tough because she’s our support system,” Bowersox, 32, of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, said of her mother. “She’s always been there for us every time we’ve been sick.”

In 1997, Shawn, now 24, contracted a bacterial infection unrelated to cancer that resulted in his becoming a quadruple amputee, Bowersox said.

"It was normal to me because I was only 8 when he got cancer," Bowersox said of her brother. "She [my mother] took care of Shawn, and I don't remember anything different. He does a lot more than what most people think he can do. He can swim, and he has his own DJ company."

On July 31, the class of 1983 from Chambersburg Area Senior High School, which Guyer attended, hosted a cookout fundraiser to help cover the family's medical expenses.

Guyer was too sick to go, but Bowersox said her mother was FaceTimed so she could see the crowd cheering for her.

Doctors say Guyer, now in hospice care, has two to three weeks left. Bowersox hopes her mother can spend that time with her family.

"I'm like my mom -- I'm very family-oriented," Bowersox said. "I did everything with her, so it'll be hard to get used to not having her with me. She's Shawn's caretaker, so he's having a hard time with it. She's very unselfish. She's always put everyone before herself. She was my best friend."