TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Her voice got you through your morning drive on 101.5 The River for decades. Now, she's using it to tell her story of how she's not only surviving cancer, but thriving.
"It's a miracle. I really do believe, It's a miracle," said Mary Beth Zolik, following her latest treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Zolik's life has taken some unexpected turns.
After going into remission after her first bout with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, she decided to retire after 40 years in radio.
"I don't know if the Beatles started this line or if they stole it from someone else, but 'life is what happens when you're making other plans,'" said Zolik.
Instead of spending retirement on sunny beaches, she began the fight of her life for the second time. Her cancer had come back.
"Another standard of care treatment would be a stem cell transplant, which I had. Which didn't work," said Zolik.
She didn't give up.
She reached out to the Leukemia &Lymphoma Society to see what treatments were available. After looking at all her options, she made a decision and was chosen for a clinical trial called (CAR) T-cell therapy at the Cleveland Clinic.
They removed her T-cells and sent them off to a lab.
"They're gone for about three weeks while the lab beefs them up, gets them to be cancer fighters, and then after that, they bring them back to the hospital. You go in the hospital, and they reinfuse you," explained Zolik.
So far, it's worked.
Zolik has been cancer-free for a year and a half. Her treatment is now FDA approved.
Things aren't always perfect, but she's thankful to be alive and able to help her daughter plan her wedding.
"Back in the day when I was very ill I thought, 'what if she one day wants to get married and I don't have the opportunity to go dress shopping with her?' And we have been dress shopping!" exclaimed Zolik.
Zolik is now involved with the Leukemia &Lymphoma Society to help others through their journeys. She invites everyone to the Light the Night walk at Promenade Park on October 14th.