In what can only be described as an act of valor, a 34-year-old Charlotte North Carolina woman did the unthinkable. Having suffered a foot amputation due to cancer just six months ago, this plucky mom of two didn’t let ‘a minor inconvenience’ like a missing foot keep her from living her life as she had always thought she would.
People reports, “Andrews, a wellness coach and mother of two, used to run three to five miles a day, several times a week. But her life was turned upside down earlier this year when she learned she’d need to have her right foot amputated due to sarcoma.”
Needless to say, Jenn Andrews was shocked at the sudden and traumatic turn her life had taken. But the story started three years ago when having a foot massage. And since then, things have gone up and down for Jenn like a roller coaster. In her own words, Jenn explains what went through her mind over the long three years during which she has been dealing with this news.
“If you know me or have checked out my site before, you would know that 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with a low-grade sarcoma on my right foot. While pregnant with my first child, I was getting a pedicure and the technician and my step-sister noticed a pea-sized nodule on my right foot while getting a foot massage.
“After having a few family friends look at it – I was told it was probably a ganglion cyst and nothing to worry about. Obviously, when you are pregnant, they won’t do anything for you anyways so I put it off.
“I also didn’t see a big deal considering several physicians told me it was probably nothing to be concerned about. That it was probably benign and not a big deal. Before I knew it – I was pregnant again and the pea size ‘cyst’ on my foot grew to golf ball status. No exaggeration – if you know me – you will remember it.
“It wasn’t painful – it was just huge. So post baby 2 – I knew I needed to take care of this issue.
She immediately submitted to additional testing which did not confirm cancer, but surgery to remove the mass was recommended. The operation was a success, with reassurances all around that they got it all. Then life goes on, but bad news followed when the cancer returned.
“I remember that moment like no other,” Andrews wrote on her blog “of the moments she learned she’d have her foot removed. “The shock of a response you never in a million years expected to hear. My jaw fell — my eyes welled with tears — my stomach dropped and my whole body got hot. I was there in the room but I was numb.”
Fast forward six months, those months filled with baby steps taken to get her back to her normal life. It would be a new normal, of course, but the young mom was determined to fight her way back. That's when she resumed her running, after receiving a prosthetic leg. NOw, after her inspiring fight back, she has a lot to say.
Last April, Jenn posted this to her Facebook page, updating her followers on her great news:
"Andrews’ latest scan shows that she is cancer free. So, she’s focused on her new organization, the Move For Jenn Foundation, which will fund cancer research and raise money to help provide sarcoma amputees with activewear prosthetics. The company that makes them donated her running blade," People reported in early October.
Now, Jenn's life has a new focus, and her outlook is nothing short of amazing, considering all she's been through. Read her own words, below:
“I don’t feel like my old self. I feel like my new self. I’m learning that I can do all the same things, I’m just figuring out new ways of doing things,” she tells PEOPLE. “Just because there’s obstacles, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Being able to finish this race is pushing me to set new goals. I’ve never done a 10K. It’s time to do one!”
Please join us in sending our best wishes to this courageous young woman!