Debbie Lammers Interview

Kylah Woods

Imagine being 12 years old and asleep in your bed.

No worries in the world besides what you were having for lunch the next day.

One minute you’re dreaming about chocolate and unicorns, the next a scream rips you from this wonderful dream.

All you hear is your mother screaming your father’s name over and over.

Your siblings are running down the hallway to get to the source of the screaming.

Imagine running down the hall with them to your parents’ room to find your mother sobbing on her bed and your father laying lifeless next to her.

Debbie Lammers was 12 when her first parent died. To this day she has no parents left in this world.

Only a husband and kids to call family.

After the day of finding her father dead on his own bed, life for Lammers consisted of enduring each day without fading into the darkness.
A year after the loss of her father, her mother remarried. Lammers and her new stepfather didn’t have the best relationship.

When dealing with her father’s death and the animosity towards her stepfather she found herself married at 16 in relationship that went nowhere fast.

Now imagine yourself at school, it’s sophomore year and you’re 16.

You’re a pretty good student. You never get called down the the office.

Today, you did.

You’re walking down the hallway toward the office. Everyone else is either at lunch or in class. Scenarios of what could have happened are running through your brain as you’re walking toward the office.

You get to the office and you see several police officers standing there.

This is that cliche moment in movies where time seems to stop.

And, for Lammers, it did.

Debbie, there’s been an accident.

She collapsed into a puddle of tears right there.

Her second parent, gone. Just like that.

She pulled herself up from the floor only to run out into the hallway, tears streaming down her cheeks, screaming at the top of her lungs.

Whispers from other students could be heard in the hallways.

Some tried to ask what was wrong.

One assumed that she was on drugs.

“That’s my sister,” Debbie’s brother said. “And she is definitely is not on drugs.”

It’s clear that Lammers had been through a lot already in her 16 years of life.

But her battle isn’t quite over yet.

In 2010 she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Imagine yourself in this position.

At the time she had two kids. So imagine the doctors telling you this devastating piece of information and not only having to deal with the inevitable mental and physical toll it will take on you, as well as your family.

For Lammers, it probably seemed like there was no light at the end of this impossibly long tunnel of darkness and despair.

Then finally, that light shined through.

Lammers was a survivor of breast cancer.

She survived breast cancer and the loss of both parents.

Through all of this she remains married to her second husband, 28 years and counting, and raise their two children, now 26 and 27.

Imagine living her life.

Could you have done it?