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It was December 6, 2013 when I first found out that my mom was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma cancer. I had recently graduated from SCU with my Bachelors in Psychology & Business and was just beginning my career as a Marketing Manager, when I received a frantic call from my sister saying that I had to come home to Hawaii immediately. Without hesitation, I went with my gut feeling and bought a one way ticket back to Hawaii, leaving my life and career behind.

Suddenly and without warning my family & I were thrown head first into the world of cancer. We were adapting to changes, often daily, that offered no road map, played by no rules, and had no sympathy. Feeling helpless and disoriented, we did what most people would do in this situation and relied fully on our oncologist to pave the path towards recovery. The hospital became more of a battle ground as my mom endured the grueling wounds caused by the side effects of her treatment. Although nothing about her hysterectomy or chemotherapy felt like a “treatment”, we knew there was no turning back at this point. We had to just stay patient and trust our journey.

On November 3, 2014, I watched my mom take her last breath as she gently loosened the grip she had on my hand. Since then I've worked endlessly on a one of a kind cancer planner called CanPlan designed to assist patients and caregivers through the daily battles of cancer. I used my Psychology background to integrate influences for positivity throughout the planner, my marketing background to design a beautiful planner with user friendliness in mind, and my grief to motivate me to create an effective tool that teaches cancer patients and caregivers that they 'Can Plan' to beat cancer.

Sharon
Honolulu, HI

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