• Cornelius woman's recovery a daily reminder of her struggle with rare eye cancer

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Jessica Boesmiller’s life has been anything but normal the past few months.

    Last fall, in the middle of her pregnancy with twins, she was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare eye cancer, in her right eye.

    Since then, she’s been through two surgeries: one to remove her eye, and another to prepare for her new prosthetic.

    "It's even surprising to myself how I'm able to just take this in,” Boesmiller said.


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    During the process, Boesmiller had to wear an eye patch.

    It was a daily reminder of her struggle with cancer.

    “I just get to look normal. I don't have to go to the grocery store and people stare at me,” Boesmiller said. "I catch my son looking up at me and with a really happy face on, and he said, ‘I like your eye.’ I said, ‘I do too.’ He said, ‘It's you again.'"

    Boesmiller said her twins, who were born in January, see the difference, too.

    "Three months old, they could tell a difference in mom,” she said.

    Boesmiller is still receiving treatment. She's waiting on a cancer screening to come back negative.

    "I feel all these prayers that people had, it's hard to feel down about yourself when you have so much support from the community, in your friends and family,” Boesmiller said.

    One fear that still exists is what is behind the mysterious cancer that has now connected her to 16 others in her community.

    "We do want answers,” Boesmiller said. “Personally, I need to keep moving and keep living in taking care of my kids."

    The group researching the Huntersville eye cancer cluster told Channel 9 they are still analyzing data, including information from patients.

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