Celebrating the Power of Mothers: Cancer Moms Fighting Back
In honor of Mother’s Day on May 9th, Isabella Santos Foundation celebrates remarkable cancer moms in our community
Written by Rachel Wood, Director of Marketing
Nothing can prepare a mom for her child’s cancer diagnosis. But there is one thing that helps all the moms we know feel less alone… connecting with other moms who live with the same unimaginable reality. Especially for this cancer mom and the community of moms who have a similar story to tell. Today we celebrate Brandi Jansen, and salute the group of moms who are united by their child’s cancer fight.
Brandi is mom to Leukemia survivor Wren, who was diagnosed with Very High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2016 and completed treatment at the end of 2018. Here are just a few reasons we are celebrating this remarkable mom….
- Mom to 4 kids: TJ/11yo, Wren 8yo, Brant 6/yo, Stella Joy/4yo
- Shaved her head. If Wren had to lose her hair because of treatment, so did she!
- Is nominated for 2021 LLS Woman of the Year!
- Set a lofty fundraising goal of $430,005 in 10 weeks in honor of the 43 children a day diagnosed and the 5 children a day who pass away from pediatric cancer.
- If Brandi believes in it she supports it with everything she has, no matter the organization or institution.
- Founded Wren’s Village to support families battling childhood cancer at Levine Children’s through Wren’s Wallets, turn awareness into action through blood drives, and fundraising relentlessly for pediatric cancer research initiatives.
Over the years we have watched Brandi and this incredible group of moms continue to fight alongside each other. Whether it’s the ISF 5K race every September, the LLS Moms in Training program, Cookies for Kids Cancer bake sales, CureSearch’s Ultimate Hike, or hosting blood drives, these cancer moms spread the word about the organizations they believe in. And they open their arms to any who needs an ounce of support.
What I learned from my group of cancer moms:
“I learned from all the cancer moms around me that none of us were ready for this, but we were built for it. We all share a universal and unspoken truth, we are a force and I believe, although we never wanted to be in this terrible club, it will take all of us to FIX THIS together, for our kids.”
Amazing ways I have seen cancer moms support one another:
“It’s in the small moments that have the biggest impact in carrying each other… It’s in the answering the phone at 2am when another mom has a fear that no other person can understand. It’s still showing up when it seems like everyone else’s lives have moved on. It’s in the quiet, non-judgment, sitting and listening, not trying to fix it, just, listening moments. It’s in the hand-holding and hugging when words just won’t come. It’s checking in on milestone days, good and bad, and celebrating, it’s in remembering anniversaries, even when they are painful. The most amazing support of each other truly comes in the seemingly smallest ways.”
The #1 thing others can do to support a mom who has a child with cancer:
“Just, show up, and keep showing up knowing that no matter the outcome for our child, cancer is never truly over for us.”
Just because Wren is doing well doesn’t mean Brandi is sitting back. She vows to “fight as hard as my daughter fought to help end cancer.” Brandi is nominated for LLS Woman of the Year. And she has her army of Cancer Moms standing behind her every step of the way. Many of them are part of her ‘Brandi’s Believers’ Team, helping host fundraisers and personally fundraising on her behalf to help Brandi inch closer to her goal of $430,005 in honor of the 43 children a day diagnosed, and the 5 children a day who pass away from pediatric cancer.
Brandi has until June 5th to fundraise for her campaign. Click here to read more about Wren’s story and support Brandi in her goal to be LLS Woman of the Year.