WAUKEE, Iowa -- A family in Waukee is together again after fighting two separate battles: one for freedom and another against cancer.
Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Schultz was medically cleared to come back home Monday after undergoing treatment for T-Cell Leukemia for the past nine months. Since she was diagnosed in Virginia, where her father lives, she was unable to come home and spent her birthday in the hospital. It is the first time she has seen her 5-year-old brother, Gunner, since her diagnosis.
Her mother, Staff Sgt. Ashley Schultz, was deployed oversees in the military when she learned her daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. She was granted emergency leave in January, but just for two weeks. Now, Ashley's deployment is over and the family is thrilled to call Iowa home again.
"When I came home and it was silent, it added to the heartache of it because it wasn’t normal. I hated it . To have her home and to have our family home and whole again, it’s an amazing feeling. I'm ecstatic that she is home," said Ashley. Elizabeth added, "It’s just overwhelming. It feels very loved and supported. It feels nice to have more people to help out and be there for you."
Warrior Tattoo in Waukee is holding a fundraiser for Elizabeth on Nov. 9. All sales from cancer awareness tattoos will go to the Schultz family.
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help support Elizabeth's journey.