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My Mom is a Fighter, a Warrior and a Survivor 

When Skylar Kaye’s mother, Tracy, was diagnosed with breast cancer, tests showed she had an inherited BRCA2 gene mutation. Testing revealed that Skylar also has an inherited BRCA2 gene mutation.
When I was 12 years old, my life forever changed when I received the devastating news that my best friend, my mom Tracy, was diagnosed with breast cancer. My entire world collapsed, but I wanted to be strong for my mom and was by her side throughout the entire journey. Witnessing her inner strength, hope and positive attitude during her long and tiring battle with chemotherapy and radiation sessions and, eventually, a double mastectomy showed her heroic spirit.  

My mom made me feel like anything is possible because she has shown me true dedication, hope and determination. Although she could not control this terrible thing that had happened to her, she could control how to respond to the situation. She took a bad situation and turned it into something positive by helping other cancer patients not to feel despair at their fate, becoming a mentor and a counselor for others going through similar experiences. She taught me to be brave and that you can’t let things, even as big as what she dealt with, get in the way of happiness.

While I know we have no control over what happens to us, I knew that I could control how I chose to respond. I chose to face my fear of the unknown, where I, too, found out I carried the same inherited BRCA2 gene mutation. I turned my positive test result into a catalyst for personal growth.  

My mom used to share a saying about a man who cried because he had no shoes until he met a man that had no feet. By keeping this perspective and focusing on what I can control, being more grateful and dedicated to the important things in my life, and minimizing the stuff that just does not matter, I have never felt more fortunate and more alive.

Six years later, my mom is the most beautiful star that shines on earth and is the brightest light of happiness in my life. She truly is a gift to the world. I can only hope to grow even more into at least half the person that she is. I will never stop fighting to put an end to breast cancer, and I hope to one day have been a part in finding a cure, as well as knowing how to manage the risk of breast cancer for those with genetic mutations like the BRCA2 gene mutation that my mom and I carry.

Statements and opinions expressed are those of the individual and do not express the views or opinions of Susan G. Komen. This information is being provided for educational purposes only and is not to be construed as medical advice. Persons with breast cancer should consult their healthcare provider with specific questions or concerns about their treatment.