Editor’s note: We are Onslow is a weekly feature highlighting Onslow County’s residents. To suggest a person to be featured, visit JDNews.com/WeAreOnslow or email localdesk@JDNews.com.

In 2008 I gave birth to a son that had died. Then in 2010 I delivered my daughter Emma only to be rushed to the hospital afterwards with a 10 inch tumor in my chest wall and wrapped around my heart. In March 2012 my husband deployed. That April we set up our first Relay for Life tent. My daughter Baylee, only six at the time, decided she wanted to donate her hair in honor of her mommy. She donated 11 inches. Well, one month later in May, I had my last surgery for my port a cath (the way the chemotherapy was infused). My husband was gone and I was alone with our four children.

Baylee had been having a few issues and we didn't think anything of it. She went in for an MRI just to check a few things and halfway through the MRI they stopped it to tell us they found something. It took them several times of explaining for me to understand what was going on. You don't want to hear your child has cancer. No one does. At that time we didn't know it was cancerous. So I kind of went through the motions. I had to be a mom to three kids and one child that turned out to be seriously ill. Our church had called another pastor in the UNC area to come and help me to be able to go back and see my daughter because children under 12 were not allowed. At that time I still had stitches in my chest from my surgery. After a week my husband was sent home on emergency leave. As soon as we left the hospital our community had stepped up and supported us in so many ways. With meals, cards, phone calls gift cards, etc.

The day after she was diagnosed I was in the parking garage and I had bought a simple stroller so I could load my two-year-old up and down with Baylee's clothes. The stroller had ties that were impossible to undo without a knife. I remember hitting the ground bawling because I couldn't get the stroller to open. It was 5 a.m. and no one was around. I asked God out loud. "Please God just send me some help," and around the corner walked a guy with a pastoral garment on from the hospital. Talk about answered prayers, and that is only once that God has shown me He's here, out of hundreds of times like it.

Baylee went through five years of chemotherapy almost every week. There were a few times that she had to have emergency surgeries and ended up with brain bleeds and ended up in the PICU. Me and her have raised over $40,000 for different organizations since her diagnosis. Every year we raise thousands for UNC children's clinic Christmas toy drive. She inspires me to do more. We recently raised $4,500 for Friends of Jaclyn through Baskets for Baylee. We have raised thousands for childhood cancer research and for ACS. It's hard to think that if she wouldn't have been diagnosed this wouldn't have happened or she wouldn't have the UNCW women's soccer team as her forever sisters. She has been through years of pain and sickness but she is still happier than almost anyone I have ever met. 

She's been blessed to work with amazing people like Stephen King, Britt Robertson and Brownie Harris. She's been on the radio, on the TV, in the paper, on the news and several other things to raise awareness for brain cancer and children with cancer. Brain cancer is the number one killer of our children in the U.S. We need more awareness and funding. I am always looking for ways to get her story out. Our kids are dying. Baylee’s cancer is inoperable. I need a cure for her.

God is the only way I am able to get through all of this. He is our everything. I've never questioned my faith. I have questioned God why us, why this, but then I remember, when I prayed while growing in faith, God uses me however is needed for His kingdom. I gave rights to my life away. My life is not mine. It's in His hands. I know He knows how to better His kingdom with life than I do myself. And there has been many times I wanted to take that back, but I can't, because in my heart I know God will always lift me out of the darkness no matter how dark it gets, He is our light. God really is My Everything I am no one without Him