For Erin Brown, Mothers Day is complicated.
When she was 17 years old, her mother passed away from Lupus, a rare autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the body’s tissues and organs. After an 8 year struggle, Erin’s mom was laid to rest on Mother’s Day.
When Erin’’s son was six months old, she was diagnosed with stage 4 Osteosarcoma, an aggressive bone cancer that required months of treatment and surgeries. She immediately thought about her own mother. “My mom never wanted me to see her struggle. She hid her pain from me in order to protect me.”
When Erin was diagnosed with Cancer, she was forced to act quickly in order to survive. She made the difficult decision to travel from her home in the Bahamas to Florida for care, which required her to spend months at a time away from her family.
This choice ultimately saved her life, but it came at a high cost. Despite a rigorous course of chemotherapy, she still required a partial leg amputation. She spent 3 of her son’s birthdays in the hospital! Can you imagine?
Erin reflected on her mother’s strength and determination throughout the course of her own illness. She drew upon her mother’s strength during her darkest moments.
She was determined to live–not just for herself, but for her beautiful infant son! Thanks to you and others like you, Twist Out Cancer is able to provide women like Erin with a community of healing, emotional and physical support.
For Erin, Mother’s Day is a day of celebration, mourning and reflection. She holds her son Aaron who is now 13, and her daughter Jupiter who is 1, close.
“Cancer was and will never be considered a personal tragedy for me. Instead, it was my wake up call. My Twist on Cancer is, embrace where the journey takes you. It all matters. It all counts.”
Cancer did not deter Erin Brown’s dreams. She is a triathlete preparing for the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.
She is also one of the participants in Brushes with Cancer in Chicago coming up on September 9th.You may know that Brushes with Cancer provides psychosocial support to those touched by Cancer to improve the quality of life for Cancer patients, their family and loved ones, through a unique art experience.
We strategically matches artists and individuals touched by Cancer. The inspiration shares their story and the artist is charged with creating a unique work of art reflective of their journey. The art is then exhibited at our annual celebratory event and gala.
Erin is excited to have the opportunity to share her story with countless others and is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Twist Out Cancer’s support community.
She said: “Brushes with Cancer’s emphasis on creative expression transcends language and cultural barriers. I am privileged to have the opportunity to inspire and empower others, and receive the love and light that the community is providing.”
Because of your support, Erin now has an international platform to share her story and inspire others.
Your support will make a considerable difference to Erin, her family and others like her who have been touched by cancer.
Jenna Benn Shersher, M.S.W
Founder and Executive Director of Twist Out Cancer
P.S. To learn more about Erin’s story and her involvement with Twist Out Cancer, Check out the Bahamian Tribune Network’s front page story. Thank you for your support of Erin and other courageous women like her.
Photography: Vado Culmer of VC Photography