Rashida knew there was a possibility she may be spending Mother’ Day in the hospital with her 7-year-old daughter, Kayla. Even though she’d be separated from her other daughter, she knew she would be where she needed to be.
Late last year, Kayla stopped eating and was losing a lot of weight. Then, she started sleeping a lot and walking with a limp. Rashida knew something was wrong. After taking her to the doctor’s, she heard the word “cancer” for the first time. “My first reaction was WOW, HOW, what can I do to make her better again,” says Rashida. “All I could think of was, ‘What will Kayla say or think about the situation at hand?’ I started praying to God asking for strength and guidance.”
Kayla started treatment immediately, traveling the 260-miles round trip from her home in Montezuma to Atlanta. “My family has been supportive from hour one,” says Rashida. “My family is split while Kayla and I stay on the road to and from to Atlanta. Kayla sister, Keyara, has to stay with my mom or her dad while we are gone. My family has been keeping the faith and staying prayed up.”
In April, Kayla was admitted to the hospital in Atlanta for a stem cell transplant. They were told they could be there for five-weeks straight while they waited for her cells to recover. Rashida was prepared to spend her Mother’s Day in a hospital room, but the Tuesday before they were given the okay to head home. It was just the words this family needed…a chance to go home, rest, and renew their strength before the next battle.
As they gather to celebrate, this Mother’s Day will hold a little extra meaning for Rashida. “Kayla gives me strength to go on everyday. She is very strong minded and out spoken,” she says. “When Kayla is in need she always turns to a church song to give her the strength. My strength comes from God, knowing if I show her weakness, it will be hard for her to get through the process. Kayla has faith in God and I believe He puts no more on us than what we can handle.”
For our Jay’s HOPE moms, their child’s fight is their fight. Whether they are at their bedside in the hospital or facing one of the many side affects from treatment at home alongside them, these mothers are warriors. Rashida and Kayla’s, story is just one of many.
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