Clyde cancer study mom loses battle

CLYDE -- A young mother involved in a cancer study surrounding the Clyde area has passed away.

News 11 has been following the story of nearly 20 young people in and around Clyde who have been diagnosed with cancer. The eldest of those patients, 20-year-old Shilah Donnersbach, now leaves behind a two-year-old son.

This after the Sandusky County Health Department and the Ohio Department of Health have been studying why so many young people, from toddlers to teens, have cancer.

The families have been told so far there's no common link to their cases. Now the EPA moves in, but Donnersbach won't know the outcome.

Two-year-old Nolan Donnersbach's Mom, Shilah, was recently featured on News 11. When we talked to her she was getting better. But in September, her cancer came back aggressively.

Trina Donnersbach, Shilah's Mom, says, "They said it could be a week, it could be a year, there's nothing more we can do."

She says Shilah's pain got so bad she couldn't let her son get close to her.

"He would want to run up and grab mommy and hug her and she would just cringe and say no, no, no. And so he learned really quick he couldn't even touch her," Trina Donnersbach says.

Not knowing what his Mom was going through, Nolan called his Mom's pain owees.

And on the morning when the end was near, he watched his Mom suffering as nurses tried to give her something for the pain.

"She really didn't know what was going on and Nolan was at the foot of the bed at the time...and he said, 'stop my mommy's owee.'"

One of Shilah's fears was that Nolan wouldn't know who she was, so Trina carries a photo album around and pulls it out to remind Nolan.

There are pictures all over the walls, even the stocking that was waiting for Shilah. Now that's all the family has after a tumor took a young woman away from her only child.

"He knows that she's not around anymore, but I don't think he really understands that she's really gone forever."

The families involved with the study are meeting with the EPA next month to start looking at what, if anything, in the environment is causing so many cases of cancer in such young people.

Jonathan Walsh reported this story on News 11 at Eleven.

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