Helping Others Through Experience

March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 8:01 AM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 8:01 AM EDT

Orchard Park, N.Y. (WKBW) - Thousands of Western New Yorkers are touched by cancer. Although it is hard for the sick, their families are also dealing with a lot. Those families can get support from people like Therapist Darcy Thiel.

"In may of 2010 my husband Tim was diagnosed with stage four gallbadder cancer and then five months later he was gone," Thiel said.

Darcy not only listens to problems but learns from her own life dealing with her husbands cancer. Her story was so profound, that she actually wrote a book about her journey. It's called "Bitter and Sweet A Family's Journey with Cancer".

"It's the story about how facing a terminal illness transport our lives. "Bitter and Sweet" is what we used often so it was obvious that was going to be the name of the book," Thiel said.

The book is a culmination of journal entries that both Darcy and her husband Tim wrote while he was going through treatments. She said a lot people reached out and responded with their thoughts, which are also included in the book. She said when it comes to dealing with life issues support is important.

"We experienced so much support and love from everyone, our community, our church family, friends it was truly amazing," Thiel said.

Darcy's experience not only helps people dealing with an illness or death. Tiffany and Michael Patko were having marital troubles. Darcy again used her husband, his death and their relationship as an example to help the Patko.

"Seriously, working with Darcy saved us. Absolutely, it just did no doubt about it," Tiffany Patko said.

Darcy said has one piece of advice she tells all her clients and her very own family.

"My philosophy is that the glass is half empty and half full. The spiritual edge in our lives is to hold both truths to look at the tough pain full on no deny it but you really can find a gift if you chose to do that," Thiel said.

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