Education After Breast Cancer

I did not give up. I have faced many challenges and obstacles in my journey to obtain my degree, but my determination never wavered - quite simply, I did not give up. I earned an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts while raising my son as a single parent and as the sole provider for our family, working full time, and overcoming cancer. The day I received my degree was one of my proudest because of the struggles I endured along the way.

While attending community college, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This diagnosis required me to drop out of school and stop working during treatment. Yet, I did not give up. After a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and disability for six months, I returned to a normal routine, and I re-enrolled in community college. During my studies at community college, I supported myself and received no financial aid. One of my proudest achievements was when I graduated in June 2004 with my Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts.

After achieving my Associates degree, I took a break from school to focus on my career and health after cancer. Things were not always good during the next few years. I became involved in a relationship which turned violent, requiring me to move from my home and to reestablish a safe, healthy home for me and my son. I did not give up. Being a single parent and raising a child without assistance is a big responsibility. I was, and continue to be, the sole provider of all the everyday necessities of rent, food, gas, and clothes for my family. But, I did not give up. Then, in 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time. I faced this head on, undergoing a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. This series of surgeries caused me to again take time off work, this time for seven months. However, I am happy to report that I am three years cancer free - I did not give up.

During my break from school, I dreamed of earning a Bachelor’s degree. Since my second battle with cancer, I focused on what I want to achieve in life, and I am more determined than ever to fulfill my educational goal of earning a Bachelor’s degree. My current employer, though supportive, does not have the ability to allow me to "move up" within the company. I know A Bachelor’s degree in business will allow me to broaden my employment opportunities, and, most importantly show my son, through action, not words, that I did not give up.

In June 2015, I graduated with my a Bachelor's of Science - Business, Human Resources Management.  Recently, I was accepted in to the Master’s program at the University of Phoenix.  I will start my studies August 2015 and will graduate in March 2017. 

I did not give up and I will not give up!!
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Tambudzai BlakeChoice
Hawthorne, CA

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