HAMILTON, Ohio - "Lilly" isn't her real name, but her story is shockingly true.
Two years ago, the Hamilton woman developed non-Hodgkins lymphoma and began rigorous rounds of chemotherapy. It's been difficult for her and her three children.
"It's been a pretty tough battle. You just really get tired," she said. "The hardest part is getting up and going to work and keeping myself motivated to do that."
That was hard enough, but what she's been through the past seven weeks would test the character of any human being.
It began when Lilly needed assistance in the hours immediately following the chemotherapy treatments. She didn't want to ask for help, because that's not her nature.
"In fact, I'm usually the caretaker in the situations I've been in throughout my life," she said.
However, she said knew she couldn't do it on her own, so she began relying on Samuel Browning, a man she'd know for many years and was trying to help after his release from prison. Browning moved in with her.
"I thought he was my partner and I thought that he was going to be with me for the rest of my life," she said. "The whole time that he was taking care of me he was taking from me."
Lilly alleges that Browning took family heirloom jewelry, electronics, her daughter's guitar amp, her children's video games plus all of the DVDs and family home movies.
She claims many of the items were pawned at the Cashland store on Main Street in Hamilton and has been told some of the jewelry has already been melted down.
Then, Lilly began to notice that checks and cash were missing from her purse. She said they seemed to disappear on the days she was weakest from the chemotherapy.
That's when she checked with her bank and discovered a number of checks written to Browning and allegedly signed by her. She claims he forged her signature.
"I was devastated that someone that you think loves you and is there to take care of you — especially at this time in your life when you need someone to take care of you — could do that at that moment," she said.
Lilly now had enough information to go to the Hamilton Police Department. Detectives investigated and filed charges against Browning for forgery and receiving stolen property.
However, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
When Browning found out about the charges, Lilly said he became enraged and threatened to kill her and her family.
"The statement was made that since I was dying anyway, that I didn't have anything left to live for, he might as well take us both out," she vividly recalled.
Luckily, Lilly wasn't home at the time and Browning was arrested before she got there. He was charged with domestic violence. Nobody was hurt.
Lilly has to go to court every time Browning appears, something she finds difficult. She also finds herself conflicted about her feelings.
"I still feel that he's a victim of drug addiction, that drugs are a terrible thing and that they destroy families and human lives and so he too is unfortunately is a victim in this," she said. "I know that most people will think that's absolutely insane, but that's just who I am. I care about other people."
For now, Lilly's health outlook is optimistic and her new goal is to find a way to buy back the pawned items.
Friends like Terrance Huff are trying to make sure she gets the money to do that.
Huff has created a video called "Wilted Lilly" that lays out the entire scenario. People who have seen it have already donated hundreds of dollars.
"Cancer has given me the chance to touch a lot of people's lives and have conversations and moments of interaction with other people that I don't take for granted," she said. "When cancer touches you, it makes you realize that every moment is precious."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.