Photo by Courtney's sister-in-law Tiffany Morton
We couldn't believe it when we recently discovered our cousin, Courtney, has breast cancer.
Our family was so shocked when we found out because she is one of the healthiest people we know, and is so young!
She has an amazing story and we wanted to share a little bit about her, because she is one of our favorite people and we are so inspired by her.
Courtney has always been someone we've admired and looked up to. She is just the type of person who radiates happiness, and is genuinely kind to everyone around her. She has been through so much, and is still smiling through it all!
Courtney wrote up a little backstory for us, and we wanted to share her story in her own words. She is the mother of three boys, and Mitch is her oldest.
Mitch was born extremely premature at 25 weeks weighing 1 pound 3 ounces. He was 12 inches long… about the size of a dollar bill. We knew there was some bleeding on the brain before he was born but we didn’t know the severity of it. After he was born, we found out that he had a grade IV brain bleed, we knew there would be complications from that but didn’t know what or how severe. He spent nine months in the NICU. He is the real fighter here! My sweet baby fought for every breath. He finally had to have a tracheotomy done to get off the ventilator to come home. He also had a feeding tube placed because he wasn’t able to eat enough to sustain him. He has been a driving force in all of our lives ever since. Mitch is now 13 years old and has Cerebral Palsy. He doesn’t speak but he communicates very well with the people closest to him. He’s personality plus even without talking! He still has his feeding tube but likes to taste things. He’s not walking but he gets around by scooting everywhere. In some ways he is your typical teenager.. messy room, moody, likes his space and freedom but in other ways he is still my sweet baby. He brings so much joy to our lives. He has two little brothers that love him very much. He’s had the best influence on them and we are so grateful for that. Every decision we make requires a careful consideration for how it will affect Mitch and his brothers, right down to the decision I made a long time ago to be the healthiest I can be to care for him. My fitness journey started with changing my eating habits, for most people its the opposite. I cleansed my body first through juicing and other things and then I started feeling so amazing and I had all this energy and I wanted to start working out as well. My moms diagnosis of diabetes was a defining moment in my journey as well. I really started thinking about the effects of my health on my family and most importantly Mitch. I realized as Mitch got older and heavier that I had to make a change. I started looking for personal trainers and different things and I came across my now good friend, Lindsey Mathews, owner of Moxie Full Body, and tried one of her boot camps and fell in love with the whole program. This was the perfect solution for me! Her program focused on diet as well as lifting weights. She is the one that got me so excited about lifting heavy.. I was one of those girls that believed I would look too “bulky” if I lifted heavy! Haha! I was wrong.. she helped me get to where I am now and pushed me to my outer limits and I’ve been amazed at how my body has changed. I had the good eating habits before but now I have strength too! I love it! Most importantly I have loved feeling strong enough to lift Mitch when I need to and care for him
I realize now that everything I have been through in my life has prepared me for my battle with cancer. October 9, 2014 I got the call that no one wants to ever get in their lifetime. I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, aka breast cancer. My life has been a whirlwind ever since. One thing that remains constant… my eating habits and working out. I have breezed through chemo because I am so healthy. I have continued lifting heavy through my treatments and that gives me the fuel I need to fight this. I am incredibly blessed to have this cancer at the most healthy time in my life.
How awesome is she?! Courtney's son, Mitch, is the sweetest boy, and she is the best mama. We love this sweet family!
Photo by Courtney's sister-in-law Tiffany Morton
She has been so inspiring to us throughout this whole ordeal, and we just had to do a post with her and share this amazing, inspiring woman with you as well! We know there is a ton of stuff out there on breast cancer awareness, but this just hit home with us, and we thought it wouldn't hurt to put it out there on our blog too.
Seeing how beautiful she is with or without hair is just a real testament that true beauty comes from within. Even with everything she's going through, she is just glowing and so gorgeous! Plus could she look any more awesome rockin this sweatshirt everywhere she goes? We love it!
She also has an amazing sense of style (when Paige worked as a personal stylist at Nordstrom Courtney was one of her top customers ;) - are you as obsessed with these lululemon leggings as we are?!
Our shirts, and Courtney's sweatshirt + tank top we got from a friend's company, who donates money and clothes to cancer patients for every purchase made from their site. Check out their story here.
To support the cause and make a purchase from this awesome company, click on the links below.
We love you Courtney! Thank you for letting us share your story!
Courtney's bracelets made by Syndee Hargis
Thank you Connie Balluf for these amazing pictures!