COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)– It’s been a difficult year for everyone and it’s not over. One Columbus family was getting ready for something exciting amidst this global pandemic, until they got news that would forever change their lives.

“When the reality of it hit you’re like, okay your life just changes in an instant and you have no experience,” noted Rob McNabb.  “You see it on TV and you see it in stories like this.” 

McNabb works as an x-ray tech at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and never could have imagined the roles would be reversed for him.

“There is a lot going on and I have to throw work into that and there are a lot of people at work I see in their own situations that I have to put mine aside for and it’s hard.”

Their oldest child, Catherine, was diagnosed with Leukemia at the end of May. And only two weeks before that they welcomed their daughter, Charlotte into the world. So now, they are not only taking care of a newborn but also navigating this new normal for their daughter as she fights cancer. 

“She’s already losing her hair,” explained her mom, Heather Mckelvey. “It’s been really hard on her and us as a family. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s a parents worst nightmare.”

Mckelvey expressed how grateful she is for her support system, friends and community during this tough time.

“Even people that don’t have a cancer diagnoses and are going through the pandemic alone is difficult. The most important thing is to lean on your support system.”

“There’s still a lot of good left in the world,” explained McNabb. “I’m just trying to hold onto that and it’s keeping me together.” 

Both of these parents express the importance of wearing a mask. Even though they won’t be going out much for the foreseeable future, they hope their story encourages at least one person to wear their mask to protect others.

“The newness of it isn’t there anymore so people aren’t taking it as seriously and working in a hospital I still see it all the time . For us it will be COVID-19 precautions year round. Wherever we go it’s masks, hand washing and sanitizing. It is still very much a reality for us.”

“It’s scary.”

Five days ago they got good news that Catherine is in remission but because of how aggressive this disease can be she will undergo at least a year of chemo, steroids and further treatments. She will always be immune-compromised and at a greater risk for COVID-19.