LIMA — Diane and her husband, Sam, were keeping their heads above water, despite the tough economy and her 13-year battle with cancer. Then she lost her job as a bartender in April because of impending surgery and the time needed to recover. Sam lost his job a few months later.“It was tight, but we made it,” Diane said. “But now it's next to impossible.”Diane added, “I've been battling cancer since I was 17, and they finally took my ovaries and my uterus out.” She'll need at least a year of recovery time, doctors told her.Sam's looking for work as a forklift driver, with little success so far.“My husband's got problems with his back, so a lot of places won't hire him,” Diane said. Her hope right now is for her children, Carla, 10; Rebecca, 8, Woody, 4, and Clifford, 3.“I want my kids to have a good Christmas,” she said. The Salvation Army has helped some, making sure there will be a few presents under the tree.Her daughters like just about anything, she said, especially Zhu Zhu Pets and Zoobles. The boys like classic toys, such as Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars and race tracks and army men.What would she ask Santa for?“I'd say a job, but I'm not allowed to go back to work yet,” she said.She studying law and hopes to become a lawyer in a few years.If she could, she'd also ask for good health for her and her two daughters, who are facing health issues as well. The family is facing tough times but keeping a positive outlook. “We've come to accept the fact that I'm sick. And no matter what, life goes on. It can't get any worse than it is,” she said. The Empty Stocking Fund benefits three cooperating agencies: Bradfield Community Center, Cheryl Allen Southside Community Center and the Salvation Army. Money can be donated by sending it to The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima OH 45807, or by dropping it off at any Superior Federal Credit Union branch. Donations of new toys and nonperishable food items will be accepted at The Lima News office. For past stories, go to www.limaohio.com/emptystocking. These stories use assumed names to protect the participants' privacy.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.