PEOIRA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Swimming is very important to Bailey Amerman, so is family.

She’s been coached by her father Derek her whole life and she has older sister to thank for some state goals.

“I qualified the last two years, my freshman and sophomore years. I’m hoping to qualify all four years like my sister (Ashton) did,” Bailey Amerman said. “She was a four-time state qualifier. I want to live up to those expectations.”

This swim season took a twist in September when Bailey’s mom Julee had a major health scare. A cancerous lump was found in her lung.

Julee Amerman had surgery on Oct. 12 to remove a chuck of her lung where the lump was located. It was a rough few weeks for Bailey in and out of the pool.

“Swimming did help a lot but I also felt like I wanted to be there for her, cuddle up with her, give her hugs and be there for her,” “said Bailey Amerman.

Her father felt the same way.

“For Bailey to be able to work out with her friends and take her mind off things at home, it has helped her tremendously,” said Derek Amerman, the Notre Dame swim coach. “The girls were great. There were a lot of prayers and hugs.”

That was a key in the season, Bailey Amerman said.

“Sometimes I’d come to practice and be crying,” said Bailey Amerman. “It was difficult but they were there for hugs and to encourage me.”

Now her mom is on the road to recovery and Bailey hopes to be on a road to state. She’ll try and qualify in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke at sectionals Saturday.

Her mom will be on her mind.

“I’m going to do this for her, I’m going to qualify for state,” Bailey Amerman said. “I’m going to medal at state and do my best just for her.”