Justine Almada knows first-hand the toll that cancer takes on entire families. She and her siblings had to watch their mother go through, and eventually die from, anal cancer. Now that she’s an advocate for cancer awareness, she wanted to share this message with other caregivers — “You are fucking awesome.”
When we talk about facing cancer, a lot of times the caregivers — loved ones who make many, many sacrifices to help someone with the everyday aspects of the disease — aren’t even mentioned. But the truth is, millions of people in the U.S. alone act as caregivers for someone they care about — and it’s not always an easy job. Read More
“It’s really difficult, and also really wonderful at the same time,” Justine said when discussing her own experience as a caregiver. “Because you know you’re giving your loved one the best chance they have … and I hope you’re really proud of what you’re doing everyday.” After watching her mom, Paulette, deal with the disease, Justine and her siblings decided to become advocates. Now, Justine is the executive director and co-founder of the Anal Cancer Foundation. “Cancer affects the whole family,” Justine said. “I was the caregiver for my mom, as were my brother and sister. So, every decision that was made, we sat down as a family and we made it together … Unfortunately, because anal cancer had not seen any advances since the 1970s, we ran out of options pretty quickly.” Justine and her brother and sister lost their mom in 2010. Now, they’re on a mission to help others avoid the situation they had to go though themselves.
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