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Keeping the Faith

Orange Bordered Autumn and Fall Photo Collage



Submitted by:
Katie Survillo & Anthony Smith

In 2005, Becky was 25 years old raising her five year old son, Anthony. She was experiencing what doctors initially called a bad sinus infection and migraines. It wasn’t until a few weeks later an MRI would show a grade 3 Astrocytoma. No one knew what would come next or understood how this could have happened but, that’s how these things typically go. No one knows how to handle a cancer diagnosis.

For Becky, she did what she did best, pushed through and kept us all laughing. As Becky went for pre-surgery appointments, I would join her. We spent our time easily entertained by whatever she came up with which included playing around in the hallway. This sometimes made the other nurses laugh and sometimes we had to go back in our room because we were a little loud. After these appointments, she would drop me off at school and I went back to being the typical 5th grader. Post surgery, Becky was eager to get back to her old routine and worked hard to make that happen.

Once chemotherapy and radiation started, her hair began to fall out. She told me, her 11 year old sister, to run and grab the hair clippers. We would then take turns shaving her head. Her son walked upstairs to tell his grandma, “my mom is bald.” Following right behind him, she came in the room ready to show off her new look and armed with jokes to lighten the mood.

Of course, she had tough days, challenges, and setbacks, but never once did her sense of humor let them get her down. With lots of laughter and positive thinking, Becky has inspired us to always keep the faith.

Now, 13 years later, Becky has continued to keep us laughing, inspiring us, and teaching us how to handle the things thrown our way. Anthony & I would not be who we are, doing what we do, or have a sense of humor like we do without her.