September Jay Fund Hero – Errisa Brooks

Today’s Jay Fund Hero – Errisa Brooks

Growing up on the Northside of Jacksonville more than ten years ago was no easy place for a kid.  At six years old, often left alone at home with four young siblings, Errisa Brooks was fortunate that her grandmother was granted custody of she and her siblings.  But life was never easy for Errisa.  With many temptations, taking the easier or more popular path seemed to be the way to go.  Until November, 2012.

Just a few months after losing her 6 month old nephew, at 18, Errisa Brooks was diagnosed with AML Leukemia.  It was undoubtedly a shock.

According to St. Jude’s, there is a greater incidence of AML among people exposed to large amounts of radiation and certain chemicals.

I never knew how valuable life was and I’m thankful for going through what I did because it really has taught me a life lesson never take life for granted cause you never know when God is going to call you home. I was 18 when I was diagnosed with AML leukemia. Life was hard for me sitting in the hospital months by myself. I wasn’t able to do things that normal teenagers were doing. I missed my last year of high school, now I’m working on getting my GED,” said Errisa.

She added, “Before I was diagnosed, I wasn’t the best kid.  I messed up by doing things I shouldn’t have.  cancer was like a wake up call.  Battling cancer made me more thankful for life, my family, and friends. Even though I don’t have all my strength back I still try and be as much of a normal person as I can. Having cancer has changed my whole outlook on life. I want to tell my story to let cancer patients know there not alone. I was once you. I made it and you can too. Don’t give up hope and faith. I remember when I wanted to give up, but my favorite nurse at Wolfson Children’s Hospital (Allison) and Dr. Bansal wouldn’t let me, even though I gave them a hard time everyday.  I’m just thankful.  Thankful for them and thankful to be alive.  Words can’t explain how I feel – I’m just thankful!

We followed up with Errisa a few days ago to see how she is feeling.  She said, “I’m still a little weak but that won’t stop me from doing what I what to do in life right now. Currently I am looking for a job. I’m also looking for a new school to go to. I’ve been writing a lot. I think I want to be a cancer activist. It has changed my life so much that I want to tell people about it, make them aware.”

We look forward to reading more about your successes and accomplishments, Errisa!  Errisa Brooks is a Jay Fund Hero!

Donate to the Jay Fund in honor of Errisa Brooks or in honor of your hero!  Every dollar makes a difference, when you, as a child are fighting cancer alone.