HARRISBURG, Pa.–

When doctors told her she had cancer, Tricia Somers’ first concern was for her 8-year-old son, Wesley. With no other close family and little interaction with his father, Wesley would be devastatingly alone when his mother passed away.

Somers was hospitalized for epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare vascular cancer, in March. Her worry for Wesley increased until she met Tricia Seaman, an oncology nurse at Community General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

“I remember when she came into the room, it was just an overwhelming feeling I had over me,” Somers said in an interview with Today. “It’s really hard to understand – it was just a warmth. I felt calm, I felt at peace, I felt like this woman is going to be the one who’s going to take care of me.”

Throughout Somers’ hospital stay, the women bonded and shared stories about each other’s families. Like Somers, Seaman had a young son, Noah. She also had three teenage daughters.

One night, when Seaman came in to check on her patient, Somers blurted out a daring plea: “Can you raise my son if I die? If the cancer takes me, can you take my son?”

Little did the woman know that Seaman and her husband were in the process of becoming foster parents.

Recalling that moment, Seaman said, “I didn’t know what to say …. I told her I was flattered …. I was trying to be very diplomatic, everything in me said was saying, ‘Yes, I’ll do it.'”

As the two families began spending time together, Wesley and Noah became fast friends.

“We need to try to help this woman,” Seaman recalled her husband, Dan, saying. “We just need to follow whatever it is God wants us to do here.”

When she started chemotherapy in May, Somers became disoriented, dehydrated, and physically drained. It was then that the Seamans adopted both Tricia and her son into the family home.

“My son is well aware that when I pass on, he is welcome to stay here. And he knows that Dan and Tricia will be his guardians. They’ve explained to him that they’ll never be mommy and daddy, but they’re sure going to try to be close,” Somers said.

“They’ve answered my prayers. It’s wonderful, it’s absolutely wonderful.”

When not writing, Sierra can be found conducting experiments in the chemistry lab or whipping up delectable creations in her kitchen. With a passion for storytelling, Sierra puts her natural curiosity to use investigating enlightening angles for news and events here at The Oregon Optimist.