Profile for Jessica Axel

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Girl Talk: Growing Up Without A Mother

I’ve never been a big fan of Mother’s Day. It’s not the commercialization that fuels my dislike, though — it’s that for 14 years, I haven’t had a mother to celebrate.

On September 20th, 1996, my mother’s 36th birthday, she died. Four years earlier, she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In the intervening time, she endured hours of chemotherapy and radiation, the loss of her hair to the chemo and a breast to mastectomy, a surgery to reconstruct her missing breast, a bone marrow transplant, and countless days away from her family in the hospital. All this while raising three children and making sure that “cancer” was never, ever a dirty word in our house. Keep reading »

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