(Editor’s note: This Mother’s Day column was submitted by Jason Day, 12-time PGA Tour winner, former world No. 1 and winner of the 2015 PGA Championship.)
My mother, Dening Day, was my best friend since childhood. Like many mothers, she made countless sacrifices to help me achieve my dreams. Whenever things seemed impossible, she was there to tell me to keep going. When mom was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer, I knew that one day I would have the incredibly difficult task of spending Mother’s Day without her.
It will be this year. In early March, we lost my mother to illness, and as my family and I feel her absence with heavy hearts today, we do our best to honor her by celebrating the unwavering force that defined her life and touched so many others. Sure, it’s not easy, but Mom was the kind of person who could always find the bright side, knowing that life was a gift even in her toughest times.
When mom was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer, it was a devastating blow to our family. She remained optimistic and clung to hope while the rest of us grappled with the thought of a future without her. As usual, mom was right.
We explored mom’s options with her doctors and learned that biomarker testing could help supplement her diagnosis by providing her doctors with genetic information about her tumor and help determine targeted treatment options for her specific type of cancer. of the lung.
Mom’s perseverance and determination taught us an important lesson: when someone you love learns that they may only have a limited amount of time to live, every day you spend with them and every opportunity to fighting disease becomes a gift and something you experience together.
We went through Mom’s treatment journey together as a family. She moved in with my wife, Ellie, and me. Instead of my mother caring for me like she has my whole life, my wife and I became her caregivers. The role of caregiver wasn’t always easy, but I was incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to spend more time with her. Ellie stepped in to help support Mom and me in ways I could not have foreseen, becoming the emotional rock of our family.
When she was first diagnosed, I was so angry that lung cancer was threatening to take my mother away from us early. Today, I am grateful for the additional memories we have built throughout her journey with lung cancer. From weeknight dinners, painting lessons and vacations to my mom being there for those priceless moments during the holidays with our children, her diagnosis has helped us realize that our family time should never be taken for granted.
Although this Mother’s Day and those to come will not be easy, I will honor my mother, Dening Day, and her extraordinary ability to focus on the good and find opportunities to inspire others, even when she is was debating – this lesson is one that Ellie and I will make sure our kids hug each other too.
To learn more about my mother’s story, Click here.