Marily Durbin Considine is much more than a wife, mother and friend.
What makes her so unique is that she is also a super fan of Tarleton State University along with her husband John.
The two met while students at Tarleton where Marily was on the drill team and John was a Plowboy.
“We got married on campus in April 2001, so Tarleton is a special place for us,” said John, who spoke to the E-T by phone this week to discuss his wife’s battle with cancer.
The Considines left Stephenville several years ago for Copperas Cove, where John was stationed at Fort Hood.
About a month ago, as they were relocating back to Stephenville, where Marily was to start teaching at Tarleton, the cancer she was first diagnosed with eight years ago reared its ugly head again.
“As we were driving to Stephenville she started getting sick,” John said. “A few days later we found out that the cancer had moved to her brain. We are essentially at the end of treatment options.”
The couple has two children, a daughter who is a 15-year-old freshman and a 12-year-old son in 7th grade.
“We are open with the kids about what is happening and so they understand what’s going on,” John said.
FACEBOOK POST INSPIRES HELP
Marily wasn’t seeking help or sympathy when she made a lengthy post on her Facebook page about her condition. She simply wanted to update her family and friends about her situation.
“I was first diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer on September 17, 2010. I was only 32 at the time and did not have a family history of breast cancer. I was young, healthy, and active. I breastfed my babies and had a pretty simple health life up to that point. I had no idea what my life was fixing to become that next day,” she wrote.
She went on to describe the difficulty of raising two young children during her husband’s three deployments while she was enduring a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
The cancer came and went several times over the years with each round of treatment.
But last month, things got worse when she learned that it had spread to her brain, neck and spine.
“No one really talks about stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. There are no big pink ribbon celebrations. It’s the breast cancer that no one wants to hear about,” she wrote. “Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer is the one that kills.
“My husband just retired from the Army and we were so excited to move back to the place where we met, fell in love, got engaged, and got married. We had bought our dream house just a few weeks ago. We were so excited! This is where I wanted us to be. My husband has a perfect job here and I had an opportunity to teach here at Tarleton. It seemed like things were going to be good finally.”
A COMMUNITY RALLIES
Stephenville is known for taking care of its own, and friends and strangers leaped into action when news of Marily’s condition began to spread.
Two fundraisers for the family are currently underway.
The Honeybee volleyball team is selling T-shirts for $15 each.
Order forms can be obtained from the Welcome Center at Stephenville High School or from any volleyball player. They must be returned by Sept. 25.
The Honeybees are asking residents to wear them to their game against Brownwood during “Pink Out Night” on Oct. 5.
Tina Gutierrez, a friend of Marily’s, has partnered with the Pink Warrior Angels foundation to host a 5K on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Tarleton.
“We are still working out the plans — where it will start on campus and what time,” Gutierrez said. “But people can sign up now to participate.”
Cost for runners/walkers is $25 and a virtual run is $35. The fee includes a goody bag and T-shirt.
To sign up, email email@example.com.
You can also learn more about the 5K on the “Team Marily” Facebook page.
“There is just something about Marily that people are drawn to,” Gutierrez said. ”She is so open and gives so much to the communities she lives in. The family is so compassionate and incredible, they are all great people.”
OVERUSE THOSE PRECIOUS THREE WORDS
Marily ended her Facebook post with a few poignant words to readers.
“Lots of people have asked what they can do to help. Please love my family. Leaving them is the scariest part of all of this. I don’t want to die.
“If you believe in prayer, please include us in your prayers. No one knows how much time they have on earth. Be thankful for each day, each moment. Overuse ‘I love you.’”