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Life is hard… but life goes on. I ask you, what is the point of me sitting here, listing our family woes and tearing my hair out. I look at Teshika, and I am inspired. She is a fighter, so full of life and courage. The little things in life – a lollipop, being pushed on the swings – bring her so much joy. She may not fully realize the magnitude of her illness, but she knows that something is wrong, but that does not get her down. She’s still so spirited, the veritable ray of sunshine in our lives. How can I wallow in misery when I have this sprite by my side?

"A mother’s love is boundless, unconditional. It lingers through the ages. The forever glow of an undying star…

 I am a proud woman, the mother of six beautiful children. They are the greatest joys in my life. My eldest was born eighteen years ago, my youngest is just one. I remember every birth completely. My body and soul split six times. There lives in me a part of them.

In 2006, my world is shaken to its core. I am told Teshika has cancer. My little girl. She’s the second youngest in the family, just one year and three months when she’s diagnosed.  It feels like my heart is being squeezed in an iron vice. Part of my soul shrivels. I have never felt so helpless.

Frequent trips to the hospital. A trickle of money, barely enough. Work is hard to come by. I can go on. I know – it’s a story told by many. That’s why I’m not going to tell it. How does that help? I am taking a page out of my daughter’s book. I’m going to look at the sunlight, not the shadows. I have a wonderful family, a caring husband, beautiful children. The current of life is strong; try as it might to drag us under, I won’t let it. Sometimes it would be so easy to let go, but Teshika keeps swimming and so will I.

For my family: my soul. "


Profiles of Courage