WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 17, 2012, 10:15 PM

Beautiful Woman: A woman who represents the Beauty of Belief

(WDAY TV) -- Over the past several months, Forum Communications has been on a quest to find Beautiful Women. Those who exemplify true inner beauty and make our world a better place to live. The next Beautiful Woman represents the Beauty Of Belief.

By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - Over the past several months, Forum Communications has been on a quest to find Beautiful Women; those who exemplify true inner beauty and make our world a better place to live. The next Beautiful Woman represents the Beauty Of Belief.

There's a quote, "that life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's learning to dance in the rain." That's how Laura McShane chooses to live.

Our beautiful women team caught up with Laura and her family in their Fargo home. Through a 4 year battle with a rare cancer she has gained an incredible wisdom, inspiring all of us to live life to its fullest and never take it for granted.

Laura McShane: "I never ever thought cancer would happen to me. If I heard the word my heart sank."

For 33 year-old Laura McShane, the mother to 5 year-old twins, the life-changing news came 4 years ago.

Laura: "I realized I had blurred vision, so I thought maybe I need glasses. That's why I feel a little off. I could tell it was only in one eye. I shut one eye and I could barely see out of it so I went in and they found a tumor in my eye."

It was inner ocular melanoma, a rare cancer that forced doctors to remove her left eye.

Laura: "It's different than your skin melanoma, reacts differently."

Doctors warned if the cancer returned it would come back in her liver. Two years later, it did.

Laura: "They don't know how to treat it. They have a certain things that are approved and otherwise it's just trials. I think the hardest part is the past two years it's been let down after let down. I'll be on a trial for 2 months and they'll be like, 'sorry, it's not working,' and move me onto the next and, 'sorry' and move me onto the next."

Despite the let downs Laura has remained positive, keeping a beautiful smile on her face.

Laura: "I have to be happy that I was diagnosed 4 years ago and I'm still here."

She has worked hard to keep life as normal as possible, showing an incredible strength.

Laura: "Even when I was going through chemo I did not miss a day of work."

Staying positive, especially for her two children, who have never known a mother not battling cancer.

Laura: "I try to have them in a ton of activities, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, things like that. Having to miss some of that stuff because I'm out of town for treatments is really hard, because I wish I could be their soccer coach and be there more, but I try to make everything I possibly can. I mean just want them to know no matter what the outcome is, in a few years from now, that mom was strong and tried her hardest."

It's this strength and that makes her an inspiration, especially to her college sweetheart and husband of 9 years.

Laura's Husband: "I couldn't do what she does - she's amazing. It's so hard to see someone you love so much, because everything just gets flipped. Then there's the other side of it. It makes you stronger, makes your relationship really solid."

Laura: "If roles were reversed, I don't think I could take care of him as good as he takes care of me."

Through the dark days she has pushed through, traveling monthly for experimental treatments to cancer centers on the east coast.

Laura: "No matter what comes at you, never give up. Have faith. God has a plan for us, and I just have to believe in that."

Even as she wonders what God has in store.

Laura: "I think about my kids first day of kindergarten is in August. Am I gonna make it to see their first day? Am I going to see them graduate? And I really struggle with that. I don't want them to grow up without a mom. I would do anything to be healthy - anything."

Laura: "I love life so much and my husband, and my kids. It makes me angry that I'm going through this, that it may take my life. That's when my anger sets in, because there are so many people that take things for granted and are just so unhappy and go through life so unhappy, and I just don't get it."

It's that attitude that keeps her going every day.

Laura: "I do it for my kids and my husband. You can never give up. I mean, there are days when you feel the world is against you, but you can never give up. And I won't because of them."

Since Laura's interview, she has been removed from the clinical trial in New York. After talking with doctors in Fargo they have decided more chemo isn't an option.

Laura is now under hospice care, spending time with family and friends. You can follow her story on her caring bridge site. We've set up a link on our website.

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