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Julia is a student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is like any other typical college student: she has five siblings, countless number of friends, and does art as one of her many hobbies. Unfortunately though, her mother, Martha, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2014, turning her life upside down.

It came as a shock to the family, because Julia’s mom seemed very healthy and there wasn’t any history of breast cancer in the family beforehand. However, she underwent a double mastectomy. Luckily, the cancer hadn’t reached her lymph nodes, so chemotherapy was not deemed necessary.

Being the second oldest, Julia decided to take over the role as the mother figure to help out her mom while she was sick. Julia’s dad was struggling, so she was the one her siblings came to with their problems. Her siblings came together to take care of everything and even did extra chores while their mom tried to get better.

While her mom’s two-month stay at the hospital, Julia, along with her two brothers, three sisters, and father, would visit every day, and even sleep there on the weekends. Julia’s art teacher at UT Austin, who had also previously fought breast cancer, even inspired Julia to sketch a picture of her mom and give it to her as a gift. Her art teacher, actually, was one of the few people that knew about her mom’s diagnosis, because her dad wasn’t open to talk about what was happening.

Thankfully, only after a few months of hard recovery, Julia’s mom is doing much better.

Julia said, “ even though the experience was scary, it has at least brought me closer to my mom now. It made me realize how much I need her. I hope one day we can find a cure for breast cancer so no one has to go through all of the pain my family had to go through.”


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