"Cancer will not be what kills me, I mean it's going to be some freak accident a long time from now," Ali Adams
MERCER COUNTY, Illinois - Alli Adams was only a year old when her father passed away.
"I was too little to remember much," she recalled.
Her dad, Craig, was 23 when he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"He had this massive tumor on his brain," said Alli's mom, Missy.
He fought for a year before passing away.
"Growing up would have been so much different had he still been here," said Alli, who is 23 herself now.
Alli would find out she had a lot more in common with her dad than she thought.
"She had a lump on her shoulder-blade that we discovered," said Missy.
It was then two-year-old Alli turned into a fighter just like her dad.
"I collapsed. I went to my knees and I prayed to God please don`t take her from me," said Missy.
After treatment and doctors removing three-fourths of her shoulder-blade, Alli beat cancer. Eleven years later it was time to fight again, this time it was her leg.
"I did chemo for nine months and then I went eight years cancer free," said Alli.
After some testing, Alli found out her father passed a gene onto her that causes Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. That means the cancer risk can be passed from generation to generation.
"It`s just a fact of my life I have this gene and cancer is just a part of me," Alli said. " You know, I just have to live with it and I do."
She would get bad news again in 2017. Two months ago, something showed up on her scan.
"They told me they found spots on my breasts," said Alli.
Alli is now battling breast cancer, with two different types of cancer in each breast.
"The only part I heard was 'you have cancer again' and the rest of it just kind of, you know, like flew past my mind," said Alli.
Missy remembers that day too.
"I said no, no and I can`t ever get that image out of my head of seeing her walk up to me and I just kept saying no. We hugged and we cried."
Alli gets chemotherapy treatment every week. Once she's done with that she will undergo surgery to have a double mastectomy.
Throughout it all she hasn't lost her resolve.
"I don't need boobs," she said. "Like, they can chop them off and we'll be good to go, because you know as long as the cancer is in a part of my body that can be removed we're good."
It's that fighting spirit Alli has had her whole life.
"It's not going to slow me down. It's not going to stop me. Cancer will not be what kills me, I mean it's going to be some freak accident a long time from now. That out of the random something happens, and I`m gone, but it will not be cancer that kills me because I won`t let it. I`m stronger than it."
She lives with the fact cancer is part of her and always has been.
"I'm on my third time of cancer. I mean it is possible to get through this. It is possible to beat it even if the doctors tell you there`s no hope. You have to have hope," said Alli.
It's a lesson she only had a year to learn from her dad.
"He was just a happy person. He enjoyed life and he was a survivor he fought," said Missy.
Alli will finish chemo in December then have surgery. She hopes to be cancer free before her wedding in May.
If anyone would like to help with Alli's medical bills, a bank account has been set up Midwest Bank Western Illinois in Aledo, Illinois. The account is under the name of "All 4 Alli."