Cincinnati teacher fighting cancer rocks orange and black stripes for the Bengals

The Super Bowl run has been a source of joy for Melissa Lohmiller and her husband, even on dark days.
Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 11:08 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - To show her support for the Bengals, a Cincinnati teacher who is fighting cancer has taken her hairstyle to the next level.

Melissa Lohmiller was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2021. As a fifth grade teacher with Cincinnati Public Schools, she has had to stay out of the classroom due to her health.

“It’s debilitating at times. I’ve been in the hospital. I’ve had to stop working, which is really devastating. I really enjoy being with the kids and being in a classroom,” Melissa said.

Melissa’s husband Scott has been a huge part of her support system, especially since he battled cancer 20 years ago.

“At least she understood from what I was telling her... the good days, you know you got to celebrate and do what you can, and the bad days, you know, rest and know that I’ll be there for her,” Scott said.

Because Melissa and Scott are both big Bengals fans, watching the team succeed has helped carry them through her chemotherapy treatments. It has been a source of joy, even on dark days.

“Having the Bengals win on Sunday makes chemo on Monday a little bit easier to endure,” Melissa said. “That’s been something that’s gotten me through.”

Melissa started losing her hair in November, which is a side effect of chemo. After the Bengals solidified their spot in the Super Bowl, she thought about ways she could support the team.

“It was kind of just an ongoing tease like, ‘Oh you know if the Bengals make it to the Super Bowl, we should dye your head orange and black,’” Melissa said.

With the help of a friend, she did it—dying her hair orange and black stripes.

The couple hopes that Melissa’s unique hairstyle will inspire others to live life to the fullest and keep the positivity around the Bengals going for years to come.

“The city, you can feel the energy. It’s just, it’s absolutely unreal. It’s just the most exciting time right now,” Melissa said.

Melissa has chemotherapy the day after the Super Bowl. She and Scott believe the Bengals will win, which would give her an extra boost of happiness at that appointment.

She also said she is expected to have surgery soon, and hopefully after that, she will no longer have chemo.

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