Cypress father whose Olympic dream was cut short helps daughter learn to walk post-cancer

Jasmin Sehic missed out on an Olympic dream 30 years ago. He's now fighting for a lot more on behalf of his daughter.

Adam Winkler Image
Friday, October 7, 2022
Father of Cypress teen helps daughter learn to walk post-cancer
A former Olympian's daughter faced adversity just like her dad competing on the world stage. But as ABC13 learned, the faceoff was for something more - her health and her ability to walk.

CYPRESS, Texas (KTRK) -- The casual conversation we witness between four people is not part of just any hospital visit. It's the latest win for a local family.

"You have to celebrate that victory," Amra Sehic noted. "Every little thing in the process is a victory."

Three years ago next month, then-15-year-old Mely Sehic was diagnosed with metastatic pineoblastoma, which is a stage 4 brain cancer that spread to her spine.

"I never had a doubt in my mind that I wasn't going to beat this," Mely, now 18, admitted. "I just knew right away, we have to go through this, and once we go through this, I'll be healthy and able to recover well."

Following three major brain surgeries at Texas Children's Hospital, she had radiation and chemotherapy. The chemo caused nerve damage and cost Mely, a former athlete, her ability to walk.

"We made sure we all played a role," Amra, Mely's mother, explained.

"This had to be a team effort from start to finish," Dr. Frank Lin, a pediatric neuro-oncologist at Texas Children's Hospital, said.

"What I tried to create through the entire process was a winning spirit," Jasmin Sehic, Mely's father, said.

Playing your role. Team effort. A winning spirit.

It all sounds like something we hear from athletes or coaches. Mely's father was both.

The Bosnia native qualified for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in javelin. But months before the games, Jasmin was drafted to fight in his country's war, so he missed the Olympics.

"That was the end of my sports career," Jasmin recalled. "But there's something inside of me that's still there, and nobody can remove (it). It's a love for life, sports and seeing people getting better."

Jasmin's new squad is Team Mely. With the help of doctors, physical therapists and her older brother Samir, Jasmin trained Mely during the course of six months, and together, she learned to walk again.

"I don't think Mely truly understood how much energy and motivation and inspiration she gave me through the course of the couple years," Dr. Lin revealed.

"All my life, I've just been an overly-positive person and looked on the bright side of things," Mely, Cy Woods High School grad, explained. "I think that's what helped when I first got diagnosed."

And now that she's cancer-free and nearly 100 percent recovered, Mely hopes to inspire other children battling cancer.

"So many kids, little kids, are walking through this hospital," Mely said while fighting back tears. "I was just your normal regular teenager, and I feel like I now have a purpose in life. I want to give people a light to look at."

Which is why this team, on this day, is back at Texas Children's Hospital celebrating their victories and those to come for others.

SEE ALSO: Houston Dash's Michelle Alozie has 'other' career at Texas Children's Hospital

Michelle Alozie and her Dash soccer club are on the brink of an NWSL playoff spot, which is indicative of her hard work no matter which arena she's in. Alozie takes Eyewitness News off the pitch and into the lab at TCH where she's also thriving outside of soccer.

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