Hannah Keene



Survivor: Her mother, grandmother and aunt

I do not have breast cancer, and I am only 12, but I have been through so much.

My mom had breast cancer when I was in the 3rd grade. My aunt also had breast cancer at that time. My mom was close to being gone, but she is still here today, and I thank God for that every day. Around that time of her getting better, my aunt did, too. My grandma had it, too, but hers only lasted a couple months, but it still scared me because I was older and understood what was happening.

A year ago, though, over the summer my aunt’s cancer came back, and it’s worse that ever. The doctors say she will have it for a long time. She got worse and worse until they discovered a tumor in her brain. She still has the scar on the back of her head, and every time I see it I feel horrible. She always looks so tired, too. I pray for her and all the other people with breast cancer. Its scary at night to think about it, and walking home from school, getting alone time, I think of her.

I remember sitting there with my Coco Puff cereal, working on my spelling words, when my parents called a family meeting. They tried to explain that my mom had breast cancer, but only my older sister understood.

My sister and I shared a room back then, and we were sitting there reading when she started bawling. I didn’t understand why, so I asked her. She told me it was for all the reasons. I was confused, but tried to ignore her sniffs and cries as I read.

Every day my third grade teacher asked me how my mom was, and I had no idea why she would ask, but I always said, “Good.” After that year everything was going perfectly when a trip to my grandma’s ruined it. Again they sat us down and explained that my grandma would have no hair. They also explained that my aunt had what my mom had.

After that, everything zoomed by. Everyone had gotten better and nothing mattered until the summer of 2005. My aunt’s cancer returned. It was worse than ever. This time, being eleven, I understood. I was always praying for her. She had so many surgeries because the cancer kept spreading. Soon it got to her brain, and everything was a blur because I always had tears in my eyes. It has been more than a year, and she has gotten better but I’m still scared for her. I miss the old her and wish she was back.

Breast cancer has changed my life, and now I understand. I have tried to make a difference in women’s lives. I sometimes give the small amount of money I make from babysitting to breast cancer funds. Maybe $40.00 will make a difference, maybe not, but I will always try and help.