WOTW: Ella Boxx

Student discusses how she stayed positive during her mother’s breast cancer journey

Junior Ella Boxx celebrates her mom, Nicole Boxx, after being chosen to be the spokeswoman at the AdvantHealth NASCAR event at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center on Oct. 18.

Wildcat Photo

Junior Ella Boxx celebrates her mom, Nicole Boxx, after being chosen to be the spokeswoman at the AdvantHealth NASCAR event at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center on Oct. 18.

Camryn Robbinson, Editor-in-Chief

As the month of November rolls by at a fast pace, it is important to recognize what one is thankful for. For junior Ella Boxx, she is most thankful for her mom, more specifically: her mom’s health.

When Boxx was 11, her mom, Nicole Boxx, was diagnosed with breast cancer. According to Ella, after hearing such tragic news, her life had changed forever as a sixth grader, and she did not know how to handle the situation.

According to an interview done on the Instagram account, Ofpeopleforpeople, after a major surgery followed by 10 radiation treatments, Nicole was cancer free a few months later and is now celebrating five years of being breast cancer free.

“Cancer is a crazy thing that makes your mind go a million miles an hour,” Nicole said. “I decided that losing was not an option, and I would fight and win.”

To celebrate her mom being five years cancer free, Ella decided to have her mom’s motto during her cancer experience permanently tattooed on her body. 

“I got a tattoo over the summer that says ‘everything happens for a reason’ in my mom’s handwriting,” Ella said. “The reason why I decided to make this permanent decision is because I needed a daily reminder to keep me going everyday.”

According to Ella, her tattoo is significant because her mom would always say “everything happens for a reason” throughout her treatment. 

Nicole’s positive attitude toward a life changing experience helped Ella see the beauty in the situation.

“Although it [my mom’s experience with breast cancer] was scary, it taught us a lot as a family. It taught us to cherish every moment and to never take anything for granted,” Ella said. “It reminded us that everything happens for a reason.”

For Ella, life was not going to go back to how it was before her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because of this experience, Ella gained a new outlook on life. 

“My overall outlook on life is to keep fighting. The quote ‘God gives his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers’ made me realize that God chose my mom to fight this battle for a reason,” Ella said. “He knew that we would all gain strength from this in the end, but we had to keep fighting.”

Similar to Ella, Nicole stresses that life is too short to take anything for granted.

“Don’t take your health for granted, hug your loved ones, cherish every single day you’re given because life is truly precious,” Nicole said.

Ella and her family were not alone in this situation. During Nicole’s cancer battle, her friends set up a meal train for her and her family. 

“It was very helpful because my dad and I did not have to worry about cooking food,” Ella said. “Most importantly, my friends and family members were so supportive and always surrounded me with positivity, which gave me hope.”

Because of her mom’s cancer journey, Ella knew she wanted to become a pediatric oncology nurse. 

“I decided that working with cancer patients is my passion. I love kids and want to do anything I can to help those battling cancer,” Ella said.

For those dealing with similar problems, Ella recommends staying strong and advises to keep a positive attitude.

“The best advice I can give to someone who is going through a similar situation is that everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan,” Ella said. “Although it is traumatizing to see a loved one experience cancer, it teaches you the real meaning of life. It teaches you that every second counts and to never take anything for granted.”