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Samantha H :

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My Mother is my HERO.

They say everything happens for a reason, I happen to believe that's true. Back in January of this year my mother slipped down the stairs and fractured her ankle. Three weeks passed and she was still in the hospital and the doctors made an emphasis on her completing physical therapy before going home. Closer to the end of the third week my mother developed this horrible cough, which triggered her asthma. Asthma treatment after asthma treatment, prednisone after prednisone, nothing was helping this cough. Then one morning she started coughing up blood, large clots of blood. And that's when the panic started. The doctors immediately took her for a chest X-Ray, assuming that the blood was originating from a clot that could have occurred during surgery on her ankle a week prior. What the doctors didn't expect was to find a mass on her right lung.

The "c" word, that's what we were calling it as we waited for the biopsy results. A long two weeks, I was in denial. There's no way my mother has cancer, she wasn't even sick. She was just here visiting for my wedding back in October and she looked completely fine. Denial. February 18th was the day I was no longer allowed to be in denial. Non-small cell lung cancer. The dreaded "c" word was now our reality.

It took a few days to process this, hours of talking and tons of tears later my mother had one goal: Kick cancers butt! She immediately started radiation and is now on a 6 month chemo treatment.

My mother will be here with me the day we do the walk. I was originally walking for her not only to raise awareness but to show her that her battle is my battle too. Now because she will be there, I will be walking beside her, supporting her as she and I raise awareness against this horrible disease.

Cancer is not a life sentence. A diagnosis does not define you. You are not bound by the limitations of your body. My mother is teaching me a whole new definition of courage. She is not allowing this disease to take control of her life. She's teaching me to always stay true to yourself no matter what life throws at you. My mother is and will always be my hero.

First Published: 5/10/2016 2:15:00 PM

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