If there's one thing we, as parents, can learn from Kathy Giusti, it's to never give up hope.
For the sake of her then toddler daughter Nicole, Giusti refused to give up when doctors diagnosed her with multiple myeloma at the age of 37, an aggressive form of blood cancer -- and gave her three years to live.
Not only did she not give up, she started a foundation to "jumpstart" multiple myeloma research ... AND she had another baby.
At the time, some people questioned whether Giusti's decision to have a second child was a "responsible" one. But Giusti wasn't having another child simply to make herself happy. Knowing that her Nicole might grow up without a mom, she wanted to give her a sibling, and she did: A brother named David.
Giusti's two children are now teenagers ...
Teenagers who still have their mom, thanks to her tireless fight. At 53, Kathy Giusti is in complete remission!
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And it gets better (believe it or not!).
That foundation Giusti started to jumpstart research? The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation has raised over $200,000,000 to date.
"We built a community of academic centers and pharmaceutical companies and as a result of the funding and this teamwork we created, we've seen four drugs approved by the FDA," says Giusti.
The ex-pharmaceutical rep and Harvard MBA received a stem cell transplant in 2006 with her twin sister Karen as the donor. She now credits Karen with "saving her life."
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd still be here and that we'd be one of the best foundations in the country," she says.
Or that she'd get to watch Nicole open her college acceptance letter, which happened recently.
"I was so lucky to raise two really independent children who over the years have watched me and said, 'You know what? You've taught us so much that one person really can make a difference.'"
I couldn't make up a happier ending to this story if I tried!
Do you understand why this mom had another baby even though she thought she was dying?
Image via AOL