ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich — Three years ago, Tom Katerberg, an Alpine Township firefighter, got lifechanging news. Doctors told him he’d been diagnosed with Stage-3 Testicular Cancer. A few weeks earlier, he had married his wife.
The diagnosis was made even more crippling by the fact that it might stifle the couple’s plans to start a family. They were told it might not happen.
“We wanted to have a family with a few kids and everything,” Katerberg told FOX17 last week. “There was always that fear that we couldn’t and we’d have to adopt or not be able to have any at all.”
Three years after that diagnosis, Katerberg and his wife Katy are busy parents. Tom is now cancer-free per his three year checkup, and 8-month-old Hadley has been keeping the couple on their toes.
“It was definitely an answer to a prayer when we were able to and just to have her here now is so fun and crazy,’ said Tom’s wife, Katy.
“This has been a blessing having her the last 8 months, and just the joys of seeing her grow up,” said Tom. “We’re in for a treat with the next one because this one is so great she’s always smiling no matter what so I can’t complain too much about it.”
Throughout Tom’s treatment, the couple says they got support not just from their community, but especially from Tom’s colleagues at the fire station. They brought meals and even held a fundraiser for the family shortly after Tom’s diagnosis.
“There’s your blood family and then the family you get to choose,” he said.
Now, they have both.