I was 12 years old when my mother told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. We went to the hospital the next day for her mastectomy surgery. I was unaware that when we left the hospital, my mom would be leaving with half of her chest gone. I was worried about her well-being and how this would not only affect her physically but mentally and spiritually as well. My mom later began radiation and chemotherapy to combat cancer and keep it from coming back, but it returned in full force and took her life when I was 14 years old, still in my freshman year of high school.
Cancer took my mom from me before I knew who I was as a person and before I was able to let her see my accomplishments. She couldn’t be there for my high school or college graduation. She couldn’t be there for the birth of my children, and she wasn’t able to be there for my wedding. These are the days I imagined her being there front and center, and she missed each of them because of cancer. It’s been 20 years since cancer took my mom, and I have watched friends and family lose their loved ones to cancer as well.
Cancer research means so much to me because I want to see people fight back and win! I am tired of hearing stories of the devastation cancer brings to families; instead, we need stories of victory and triumph over cancer. These stories will only be possible with continued research to discover better treatments and cures. Together, we can make a difference and help bring joy and success back to so many who have all but lost hope!