ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque brother and sister are battling cancer together. They were both diagnosed within a few weeks of one another.
“It was just like shock,” said Leslye Zuercher.
Zuercher was supposed to get married Saturday.
“I just didn’t have time for this,” said Zuercher.
In February, Leslye went to the doctor for a lingering cough. She was eventually diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.
“I didn’t expect cancer at all, definitely the furthest thing from my mind,” said Zuercher.
Starting chemotherapy immediately, her wedding couldn’t wait until April.
“Well I can’t get married without my hair, so we either do it now or we wait a year and my husband, Josh, was like well let’s do it now,” said Zuercher.
Zuercher said she was just starting to figure out what life looked like in and out of the hospital and as a newlywed, when cancer struck again.
“It’s just not fair,” said Zuercher.
Within a few weeks of Zuercher’s diagnosis, her younger brother, Keith, a Rio Rancho Firefighter, was diagnosed with cancer too.
“Once we got to the ER we told them my sister had lymphoma just a few weeks ago and they were like well I guess we don’t have to break the news to you because you kind of already know what it is,” said Zuercher.
Her brother also had a lingering cough. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“We don’t have any history of cancer in our family,” said Keith Ragsdale. “We’re like a healthy family.”
They’re now fighting the disease at the same time, relying on faith, family, and each other.
“I know I’m not strong enough to get through it alone,” said Ragsdale.
They even shaved their heads together, along with their friends, family, and many Rio Rancho Firefighters.
“That’s been incredible to have people love us like this,” said Zuercher.
And for two siblings who already call each other best friends, they said even cancer can’t crush their spirits.
“I couldn’t ask for a better cancer buddy,” said Zuercher.
Zuercher and Ragsdale said the amount of support from family and friends has been incredible.