Eboney (the younger Ms. E ) entered foster care when she was only 3 years old, along with her brother who is a year older than her, after their mother was killed by her boyfriend with them in the home. A younger sibling was sent to live with his biological father out of state. Sometime later they were placed with their paternal grandmother, with whom they were living when they began to receive counseling services through HEART.
Eboney says “Growing up, I just felt out of place with my family--disconnected. I felt as if I could be in the same room as them and never be noticed. I was told that my grandmother barely wanted to take my brother and me in because she’d just finished raising eight kids of her own. So I already felt a bit ‘unwanted’ in a way. On top of that I just felt so lost.”
In light of these clouds over her life, Eboney feels that her greatest achievements have been in defying the statistics of being a young lady with her profile, remaining positive throughout her life’s circumstances, and making positive life/career decisions. She was able to independently obtain, furnish and live in her own apartment after earning her CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) certification and becoming employed at San Quentin State Prison. She has now worked as a CNA for 4 years; and has also worked part-time as a certified bartender and tattoo artist intern. She’s found working in the medical field to be enjoyable and her next goal is to become certified as an X-ray technician.
The even greater challenge Eboney has had to face is being diagnosed with ovarian cancer several months ago, shortly after her 25th birthday. She says “cancer is just something I’d never thought of happening to me. I feel like my life has been put on pause, and I’m limited in certain things like living independently and working and supporting myself.”
When asked if this has been complicated more by not having family support she says that although she’s never had a strong connection with family, some family members have come forth to support her during this challenge, for which she is grateful, yet she has mixed and conflicting feelings that it would have to come to this for them to be there for her.
Here are a few excerpts from her blog:
“So I thought I'd let you blog readers see a little of what I have to go through during this time of treatment. As I was doing some research on the medication I'm getting, a lot of things began to sink in. I was told that this medication may cause certain severe blood disorders (bone marrow suppression leading to low red blood cells,) etc. So next time you would like to complain about your day, just think of what other people have to go through in life. You may just not have it as bad as you thought”
“I started my new chemo and I was sharing my feelings upon it. Since then, there hasn't been much to say”
“Here I am, stressing off of getting all of my classes ready for school, planning a future for myself, and all along the thought of everything, I lose sight on the reality that I'm not even sure WHERE my life is going at this moment and time in life. Oh how the Lord is testing my faith”
Eboney states confidently that her faith in God, consistent prayer, and reading the Bible are what have gotten her through her many struggles. “During high school I was real shy, passive, and depressed all the time”. However when she began to go to church and develop her relationship with God, things began to change. She even began to develop her musical gifts as a singer.
She says she remembers receiving counseling through HEART as a child and it helped her to get through some of the basic issues growing up with her grandmother, not having a clear understanding of it all. However “I kinda wished it had been available to me later on in my adolescence for help with my self-expression and growth”
Through the generous donations of our village of supporters, a couple of weeks ago HEART was able to assist Eboney in taking a trip to the Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Her long-term goals are first and foremost to be HEALTHY and to live a harmonious life in alignment with using her God-given gifts and talents. She says the way HEART and the village can most help her are through our prayers, emotional support and reminders of motivation, and academic and financial resources and support to continue her college education. (Oh, by the way, two days after her return from CTA she began classes for the new semester at the local Junior College ) Eboney has also requested assistance in developing her speaking skills in order to encourage and motivate other young people. There’s no more to be said - -Let Ms. E Speak!
A NOTE FROM MS. EBONEY
I just want to give a big THANK YOU to those who contributed to my trip visiting the Cancer Centers of America last week. It was a very eye opening experience for me, being the youngest person at the Center.
I have come to terms with myself that this illness I am fighting is indeed REAL and I have all the faith in the world that this part of my life's journey will soon pass.
I found out a lot of information while visiting the Cancer Center, but unfortunately there isn't much that can be done at this time. The doctors agreed with the treatment that I am currently receiving, and there is not much to do but wait it out.
Again, thank you so much for all of the support. It means a lot to me that complete strangers are willing to extend a hand in the kindness of their heart to help. God bless you all.