CLEVELAND — It won't be the second cancer diagnosis Robin Swoboda will remember about the summer of 2021. It will be the pig roast.
"There's this handsome guy, and you know, I think he's flirting with me," the former 3News anchor recalled, laughing. "He did say, 'Would you like to go out sometime?' And I'm like, 'I'm chubby, I have white hair, I'm in my 60s, I have cancer. Do you want to go out with me?' And he goes, 'Yeah, I do.'"
His name is Rob Winebrenner, and few things scare him. He's a retired Barberton Police officer.
"The more I talked to her, the more I wanted to hear about her story and what she was going through," Rob said, remembering that day they met. "I found that interesting as much as I found her interesting."
Rob also understands the devastating curveballs life can throw: His son, Akron Police Officer Justin Robert Winebrenner, was killed in an off-duty altercation at Papa Don's in November 2014.
Kenen Ivery became unruly, and Winebrenner and another man tried to remove him from the restaurant. Shots were fired and killed the 32-year-old, who left behind a fiancé and daughter. Ivery was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Rob Winebrenner is also no stranger to Robin’s fight.
"I was telling her about my wife," he said. "My wife had cancer and she ... she did not survive the cancer."
"There's an undeniable spark between these two. They've been nearly inseparable since they met.
"I've been waiting for him my whole life," Robin gushed.
On their third date, he may have saved her life: Rob rushed Robin to University Hospitals after she had a dangerous reaction after her first round of chemo. She spent three days in the ICU.
"He has seen me at my worst," she said. "I mean, he took me to the ER, he knows my weight, he knows my sodium numbers, he's seen it all and he keeps coming back. It's just crazy."
"I'm very much in love with her," Rob admitted. "I don't know [when] the first time I said 'I love you' was, but I think it was in the ICU."
Robin remembered her breast cancer battle four years ago, and how she didn't let anyone in to help her. It was a regret.
"I wish I had somebody special who, you know, was, was there for me and could run their fingers through my hair and have my hair come out in their fingers," she laughed.
Rob was there when it was time for Robin to lose her hair. He's been part of her social media posts and is now well known to her followers. He says her sense of humor is infectious and, like so many others, he learns from her attitude every day.
"You can go through all of that and look at the positive side," Rob said, smiling. "I've never been around someone as happy as she is, and that makes me happy. There's not a day we don’t wake up laughing. We go to bed laughing, the whole day is laughing. We just laugh the whole time."
So while Robin's dealing with her next eight weeks of chemo, Rob will be right beside her, walking the dogs or binging Netflix. He told her she won't be alone.
"'I want to be your partner in this,'" he remembered telling her. "'I want to be part of this whole thing,' and I think her first question was, 'Well, you're not doing this because you feel sorry for me.' I said, 'No, I did this because I love you.'"