BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Lynn Dejac Peters sat in a prison cell for more than a decade, knowing she did not murder her daughter. She has been set free, but now her doctors say she has terminal cancer.
Dejac Peters wants everyone around her to stay calm, including her twin 19-year-old boys. She was diagnosed with inoperable cancer just after Christmas.
"I think I'm that one out of a hundred, that's what I think. They say one out of a hundred survives this. I think I'm that one," she said.
Dejac Peters has fought back under difficult odds before, having been released from prison after wrongly being convicted of strangling her 13-year-old daughter Crystallyn. She served 13-and-a-half years behind bars and has been reunited with her family for the last five years only now to learn that the cancer has invaded her lungs and back.
She feels there are rewards for her in life and in death.
"My boys are beautiful; my husband's beautiful," Dejac Peters said. "I get to be with them and enjoy life with them, and experience life with them, or I get to go be with my daughter."
Her husband, who raised their twin boys after Dejac Peters went to prison, never gave up the fight to have her set free. He says he is not giving up the fight now to save her life.
Chuck Peters said, "I thought I lost her 20 years ago, and after 14 years, she came home. Now I've had her for five, and I'm not ready to give up yet."
Her twin boys were just babies when Dejac Peters was taken away. They say she has helped them turn their lives around by laying down the law at home. Learning of her new battle now, is painful for them.
Doug Peters said, "I took it pretty hard. I just got her in my life now, and she's going to be gone, pretty soon. If she fights it, she'll be sticking around."
Keith Peters added, "Me personally, yeah, I think my mom will beat it, because she's got that 'go to' attitude, where she'll just beat anything."
Dejac Peters said, "I just feel that when I was in prison, I didn't think I was going to do all that time wrongfully. I don't think God punishes the innocent."
Her boys will be graduating from South Park High School. She also has a federal lawsuit pending, hoping to prove that her ex-boyfriend Dennis Donohue murdered her daughter.
She is looking for more than money in this federal lawsuit. She already got a state settlement for $2.7 million.
Crystallynn's death certificate reads cocaine overdose. She truly believes her daughter was murdered by Dennis Donohue, who is doing time now for another strangulation murder.
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