The diagnosis came after Sandy ripped the roof off of her Bethpage home, and a contractor took nearly four grand in cash, the mother of two could use for chemo.
"We really needed it, and it's like he walked off into the sunset," said Katherine.
Last December, the family signed a proposal with Christos Katis for repairs, giving him almost half the cost of the project in a cash deposit, which was a mistake; a proposal is not a contract, and isn't binding.
Two months after that, the contractor was MIA, leaving the home exposed to winter's nor'easter. Spring rains made the damage even worse. Every day there was compounding damage and expenses.
When the squirrels started getting inside. Katherine's son, Spiro, says the contractor came and stuck 20 shingles on the roof, but after that patch job there was nothing but excuses.
"Sick one day, flu the next day, too cold the next day," says Spiro, "the months start flying by, and the whole neighborhood has contractors on the roofs, except you get the feeling something fishy is going on."
Spiro demanded his money back, and got a voicemail from the contractor agreeing to a refund.
"I went to my mailbox every single day looking for the check," Spiro adds.
No check came from April to August, and with his mother getting sicker and with his grandmother taking care of her while the roof over their heads rotted, Spiro got 7 on Your Side.
Christos Katis blamed the weather for delays, insisting he always intended to finish the project. The problem was, 7 on Your Side learned he is not even licensed, and it is illegal for him to do the work.
"I have the license, but I didn't have it, I know, it's a problem," says Christos.
After that, Christos came through with the cash.
"This is a good day I haven't had in a while," adds Spiro.
And even better was being able to put a smile on his mom's face. Now she has one less thing to worry about as she is in a fight for her life.