I have often admired the strength our Honoree parents have while navigating the stages of their family’s cancer journey. So, in honor of Mother’s Day, I asked TNT mom, Melissa Jabonero, to share her perspective and where she finds her strength.
A quick note about Melissa and her family. Last summer, Melissa’s husband, AJ, completed his first triathlon with the TEAM and TNT has become a Jabonero family tradition ever since. Both Melissa and AJ have trained with the TEAM and their four-year-old daughter, Isabella, “Izzy” Faith, has been a TNT Honored Teammate. Izzy was diagnosed with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) in June of 2010 and is currently undergoing treatment.
“Fighting a disease threatening to take the life of your child requires action,” says Melissa. “LLS and TNT have given us a way to fight back and they have been fantastic to us throughout our journey.”
Melissa says she gets her “Super Mom” strength from a variety of sources. Her friends, family, faith and TNT teammates are the support system that keeps her going. She also says that patient services like those that LLS offers, have been invaluable in their fight.
“LLS has been amongst the top of our helpful resources,” explains Melissa. “When our daughter was first diagnosed, it was an emotional roller coaster that no one can prepare for. LLS supported us without any questions asked.”
For other mothers and parents in a similar situation, she has the following words of advice:
“You may not be able to control the outcome but you can definitely control your outlook. Hope and faith are two powerful things. Also, never be afraid to ask for help. From laundry to a listening ear, people will always be willing and eager to help,” she says.
“Take time out for yourself. It can get hectic, taking time to decompress with something as simple as a walk can do wonders. Last but not least, be the over-opinionated, hand-holding, protective parent your child needs you to be. You know your child best and only you can be the voice for them.”