If you take a walk through Kathy and Gaylord Hatcher's ranch in Galt, you'll see a variety of animals everywhere, ranging from a tortoise to pigeons.
Inside the home, not much changes. Most of the home decor are also farm animal themed.
"Horses are my passion," Kathy said, laughing.
Every minute spent laughing at home together is now precious to this family. They've been spending most of their days in the hospital. First Kathy, who has already gone through cervical cancer and lymphoma.
"I felt like when I was cleared up and they gave us Gaylord's diagnosis, I felt like for some reason I was being punished for being better, for being OK," Kathy said, through tears. "Maybe if I still had cancer, he wouldn't have got it. Because his is much worse."
It hadn't even been a month after Kathy's cancer went away. Gaylord was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with no cure. He would only have a little over a year to live, or so he was told.
"When [the doctor] was talking, I looked at him with ‘F-you’ eyes," said Gaylord. "I had to hold [Kathy] down and say 'we can get this figured out.'"
It was a sentence the Hatchers refused to accept, mostly because of their son William, 7, who they call their miracle baby. Kathy had him when she was 42-years-old and the couple had not expected any more kids.
The Hatchers found a doctor in Irvine who encouraged Gaylord to fight. For the past year-and-a-half, they've been making the six-hour drive south at least once a month.
In May, Gaylord had his second brain surgery. They're already preparing to go down again for his third.
"You take it with strides," Gaylord said. "I wore my working boots every time I got radiation [because] I wanted to go in there strong."
The Hatchers have remained strong through more and more bad news. Just last week, $500 donated to Gaylord's surgery was stolen out of their truck while picking up William at school. The couple is already drowning in more than a half a million dollars’ worth of medical bills.
Even the best case scenario at this point isn't great. If this surgery does go well, Gaylord would have to go back to his Irvine doctor every six weeks until another tumor comes again.
There's no giving up though for this couple who grew up learning the importance of perseverance. A love for horses is what brought them together a decade ago. A love for family is what brings them hope even when it seems there's none left.
"Our determination to fight is that 7-year-old little boy," Kathy said. "That's why he's a miracle."
You can follow the Hatchers' journey and help them out here.
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