05/20/2013 03:29 pm ET Updated Jul 20, 2013

From Tragedy to Triumph

I am a wife, a mother and a mesothelioma warrior. I have a story to tell, one that starts with tragedy but ends in triumph. Although my journey is exclusive to me, it contains personal struggles in which others can find a piece of their own battle. My story is about making hard decisions, choosing what to sacrifice, and finding hope when it isn't right in front of you. My purpose in all of this is to give people inspiration and motivation to overcome whatever obstacles -- no matter how impossible -- that stand in their way.

Upon my diagnosis of mesothelioma, I wondered what my future would hold and what role I would have in it all. Would I merely be a statistic, or would I be something more? When I became involved with the mesothelioma community, I saw that I am just one of the many warriors battling this monster. I have found my part in this fight and have been inspired to raise my voice. Over the past seven years, I have added another title to my list -- I am an advocate. Instead of keeping my story to myself, I want to share it. I want to spread awareness about this rare disease and hopefully shine a little light on this often misunderstood cancer that mesothelioma victims have come to know. But above all, I want to join this conversation about hope so others can see that no matter what their struggle is, they are never alone in their fight.

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