In a 2009 article in the Times Herald, Ylen claimed to be under hospice care at the Lexington home she shared with her boys. A man who is said to be her friend at the Michigan State Police post in Sandusky told the newspaper, "We're in the 11th hour; we really are."
The article said Ylen was paralyzed and had to take a leave of absence from her job at the Sandusky Michigan State Police Post.
The reporter described Ylen the following way.:
SARA YLEN has a glorious smile. It shows itself only reluctantly, begrudgingly, before it becomes luminous, as if lit from a lamp deep within. Her smile is never brighter than in the presence of her sons, who give her strength. I have seen that smile take form, like God bringing brilliance to the void, even when her eyes were moist with tears from the ever-present pain.
Let us be brutally honest here. Ylen's situation is difficult. Her friends fear for her.
It goes on to read:
Job of the Old Testament had nothing on Sara Ylen. Those who have watched her relentless suffering, and who have witnessed her unconquerable spirit, can offer nothing except our love, our admiration and our prayers.