This Was My Mommy

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May 10, 2000. I was nine years old the day my mommy died. She had been battling breast cancer for at least three years, who knows how long she had it before her diagnosis. It’s very hard to talk about, even now. I want to share her story, though. She was only 28 when she died. She was so young, and had only just begun life, but then it ended. She had three daughters; I’m the oldest. My sisters were six and two when she passed away. It was so hard on all of us. We were split up because my youngest sister has a different dad. I think it’s been the hardest on her.

Mommy knew she wasn’t going to make it, that’s maybe the most difficult thing. She bought all of us birthday presents, for each year until we were 18. My grandma gave them to us. It breaks my heart knowing that she’s really gone. I’m so thankful, though, that I had such a wonderful mommy. She was not a perfect person, but she was a perfect mom.

The reason I’m finally sharing this is because I hear so often that breast cancer only happens when you’re older, that young women don’t need mammograms. I myself have been told by doctors that a mammogram isn’t necessary for me. It frustrates me so much, because I wonder if my mom was ever told the same thing, and if she was, could getting one have saved her? Wondering that is never going to change what happened, but I hope my mommy’s story can help even one young woman to realize that breast cancer can happen to anyone, at any age. If her story can touch even one person, it was worth sharing.

Brea Hendrix
Phoenix, AZ

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