Generations of Hope


Auntie Kim and I hug in the parking lot after showing her my new haircut.

I’ve been attending the Race for the Cure before I could walk. As the years go by, I have only become more passionate for the cause. My dad’s mom is a 45 year breast cancer survivor, so we have always gone to support her, but two years ago it gained even more meaning when my aunt was diagnosed.

Watching my aunt go through treatment after treatment was hard, but she always stayed strong and was hopeful during the entire process. Wanting to do anything I could to show my support, I donated 10 inches of my hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients. As soon as I cut it off, I went to see my aunt to show her my new look. I vividly remember us hugging and crying in the parking lot, and by the way she hugged me tight, I felt weak in comparison.

When my aunt received her last chemo on Dec. 30, 2014, my family went with her to cheer her on, including me with a big, pink, handmade poster. When the patients have fulfilled all their treatments they get to ring a bell in the office in celebration. As we watched her ring the bell, we all cried tears of joy because she was one step closer to the end of her treatments.

Today I could not be more honored to be able to walk at the St. Louis Race for the Cure with two strong survivors by my side, and while it was not easy to get to this point, it has shaped me into who I am today. It has made me value hope and faith and taught me that they can get you through the toughest of situations.

We all hope for many things everyday. I was used to only hoping for simple things like new clothes or for a good grade in Spanish class. I had never had to hope for something so crucial and important as my aunt beating breast cancer. It woke me up from the irrelevant desires I had and reminded me of what is really important. My life and my priorities changed in an instant- the small things mattered a whole lot less.

To have faith, you have to have complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I put my faith in God that he would give my aunt the strength she needed to carry through treatment, and He succeeded. Because of my faith in God and all of our support, I had faith in my aunt that she would be able to win her battle.

This experience was such a challenge for me because I felt that the situation was out of my control. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t magically make my aunt’s cancer disappear. That’s why I value hope and faith as much as I do, because sometimes that’s all you can do in tough situations- put your faith in a power bigger than yourself and know that you always have people that love and support you by your side. I know that if two of my close family members can battle breast cancer, I can take on any hardship that comes my way. I have faith in both myself to succeed and my loved ones to help me through any situation.