My Mom Got Breast Cancer When I Was Three

LWMSeptOct2014-Final_Page_21My mom got breast cancer when I was 3. At the time, I didn’t know what breast cancer was. She was 32 years old and she was always happy and doing things. Then one day, she told
me she had to have surgery to fix a booboo in her chest, and that she wouldn’t be able to horse around like we used to, then she would have to have more medicine and her hair would fall out. I didn’t understand any of it. When she had surgery, she was gone all day and I really missed her. When I came back home, I ran to jump on her and everyone shouted and told me I couldn’t do that. I just wanted to be close to my mommy. She looked the same and acted the same, so I didn’t know what this breast cancer thing was all about. After a few weeks, she started going to “treatment”. She would go all day and when she came back, she would be really tired.

She started getting sick all the time and throwing up. That was when I began to get worried. My aunts would take me out to do fun things and play, but I didn’t want to leave mommy.
One day, mommy picked me up from school and she looked different. “Mommy, your hair isn’t the same. What did you do to your hair?” I didn’t know she was wearing a wig. After dinner, she told me that the medicine had made her hair fall out, so she just shaved it off. She said that she was going to go into the bathroom and when she came out, she would look different. When she came out, she didn’t have any hair. She looked like my mom, but I didn’t understand what had happened to her. “Put your hair back on, Mommy.” She said that it was gone. She told me that I wouldn’t go to her at first, but then she told me to come to her and smell and hug her and then I would know it was her. I did and then I realized she was still my mom. She held me and cried.

After some more time passed, she created the Tigerlily Foundation, to help other women understand and get help while going through breast cancer, and she wanted to help other little girls to understand it and live healthier lives. We began going to places where she would speak and she met a lot of people and was always trying to learn more about how to raise money and grow Tigerlily Foundation. In 2012, I decided I wanted to help and started the Pajama Glam Party. I host this event, where everyone wears pajamas. We talk about prevention, wellness, ways to stay strong, fit and healthy and lower the risk of breast cancer. We have had over 300 people attend. The first year it was held in Washington, D.C., and the second year, we had it in New York too. I want to have them all over the country. We are looking for sponsors and partners so that we can spread the word and encourage more girls and moms to talk about health and prevention, and to understand how to be their best advocates when it comes to breast cancer. If you would like to support Tigerlily Foundation, email To get involved with Pajama Glam, email

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