HASTINGS, Minn. — When Melissa Black began fighting breast cancer in 2017, she knew she wasn't alone. Her husband, Charlie, and her two sons, Marcus and Donovan, fought through the tough days with her.
"I remember a couple of days of pretty heavy grief," Melissa said. "I remember waking up a couple days later and just deciding, I need to choose how we're going to face this."
Melissa decided to live by a simple motto: choose joy. Months later, she learned that her outlook had rubbed off on her Donovan and Marcus.
"She tried doing what she could. She did whatever she could to help around the house," Marcus said. "She is a good cancer fighter."
Though the boys admired their mom's courage, they still wanted to do something for her, so they decided to apply for a grant through Wishing for Mommy, a non-profit that awards money to kids who are looking to do something special for their moms who have breast cancer.
Weeks after applying, the boys learned that the entire family was invited to Morris Martial Arts, in Hastings, for a special presentation.
"It happened to be the night before surgery, which couldn't have been a better way to spend that nervous night before a big surgery," Melissa said. "They were presented with a really neat award."
The boys received $500 grant, thanks to a pretty selfless wish.
"I want them to do more research so they can find more ways to cure it," Donovan said. "No Mom should have to be sick."
Charlie Black says he's proud of his boys but he says he and Melissa can't take all the credit for their generosity.
"The community and friends and family have given us so much," he said. "I think that's partly what helped them realize that they could give back."
Melissa is now done with treatment and cancer free, and she's now happy the entire family is choosing to pay the joy forward.
"They've got such big hearts," Melissa said, looking at her sons. "There's a lot of times that I felt like I wasn't able to be there for them in all the ways I usually am, and so just seeing what they want to do with this donation just kind of makes it all come together."
The boys say they already know where they'll send that $500 donation. They love football so they're giving to KARE11 anchor Randy Shaver and his Tackle Cancer fundraiser.