In a cream blazer over a red turtleneck, NAN mom Sameera greets us warmly into her apartment. She is not afraid to get right into our reason for being there. “I have to say what I observe. I have to tell my story,” she assures us.
Sameera is currently facing breast cancer while raising her eight-year-old daughter. After her diagnosis, she had a mastectomy. Her husband, who lives in India, visited on multiple occasions to give her support. But before her journey with cancer started, Sameera was a working mom and described her life then as a healthy one: no fast food and lots of exercise.
“Cancer doesn’t care who you are,” she tells us matter-of-factly.
Sameera describes herself as a modern and empowered woman. When you meet her, it is not hard to agree: she offers a confident handshake and a bright smile to each of the members of our team. She dotes on her daughter throughout the interview and towards the end, offers us all slices of maple cake. You would never believe that her cancer diagnosis left her numb for the first two months—and even then, the only thing that came to mind was her daughter. “My life revolves around my daughter. I thought, ‘What’s next for her?’”
The Nanny Angel Network (now Nankind) made a huge impact on her life by giving her the tools to explain what she was going through to her daughter. At first, she was scared to open up about her illness, but finally found the courage to do so after her surgery. “NAN opened my mind and empowered me to open up about my issues. They helped me to see that my daughter has to face the world and she needs the right information to do so.”
Her Nanny Angel, Lani, also alleviated a large amount of Sameera’s stress. Her daughter tells us that Lani offered her a chance to be joyful amid the chaos of her mother’s cancer diagnosis. She explains, “Lani is more of a friend. She’s someone I can play games or watch movies with.”
Finally, Sameera offers some firm advice for mothers dealing with cancer: “Nothing is more important than building your confidence to face the world. Make yourself so strong that your disease cannot control you.”
Written by Rebecca Mangra