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Arizona couple battling cancer together help others as 'cancer coaches'

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Posted at 2:09 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 17:55:34-04

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Self-dubbed "cancer coaches" are taking their own battles with stage 4 cancer and coaching people through their own fight against the disease.

Chuck and Hannah Keels are currently living with stage 4 cancer and call themselves "thrivers."

Years ago, Chuck was given three months to live after his prostate cancer spread to his lymph nodes and bone marrow. After a miraculous recovery, he's living a healthy life.

"I was looking at the end of life," said Chuck.

After a spinal collapse and multiple surgeries, Chuck's chemo kicked into overdrive, killing cancer inside his body at a tremendous rate.

"My cancer doctor is looking at me saying, 'I’ve never seen anything like this before. Your journey’s not of medicine, it’s miraculous.'"

Hannah has been living with metastatic breast cancer for four years. Her recovery was recently halted when her breast cancer spread to her back where a small growth led to a spine fracture.

The duo calls themselves "cancer coaches" and co-founded the Living Hope Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit based in Scottsdale where the Keels help coach people fighting cancer.

"Having a positive mindset through the cancer journey is really what the game’s all about. You’re either hiding in the bed or the couch with the covers pulled up, or you're in fight mode," said Chuck.

Through the Living Hope Cancer Foundation, Chuck and Hannah work with people who are diagnosed with cancer to "get up and live" as they say, encouraging a positive mindset. They also help with health plans and other life coaching needs.

"I think the hardest part about cancer is we don't have any control over it," said Chuck.

Hannah was unable to be at the interview with her husband, but Chuck said despite all the pain she is experiencing, she is still helping others.

"The other day I’m watching her, going through her journey, she can barely get out of bed, she went through three coaching calls coaching somebody else through their journey," he said.

This story was first published by Adam Waltz at KNXV.