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Jessica Pratt with Freeman Cancer Institute Oncologist Dr. John Vu

At age 34, Jessica Pratt received devastating news: a breast cancer diagnosis. After hearing those words, Jessica remembers feeling physically ill. Her body went numb as her eyes began to well with tears. “I turned to look at my husband, Marcus, and saw the fear in his eyes. At that very moment, my fight instinct kicked in. I knew I had to be strong if I was going to beat this. I had to be strong for my family,” Jessica recalled.

Soon after receiving the diagnosis, Jessica shared the news with her young children, Maggie and Lane, ages 8 and 6 at the time. Unable to comprehend or fully understand what she’d heard, Maggie asked, “Will you still be my mom?” Determined to reassure her, Jessica quickly responded. “I’ll live to be 112!” Lane questioned why this had happened. “I told him I don't know why. But I know God has a plan for my life,” she remarked.

A few weeks later, Jessica underwent a double mastectomy. Following surgery, she began aggressive chemotherapy under the guidance of Freeman Cancer Institute Oncologist Dr. John Vu. She continued working as much as possible, pushing through the tough days, refusing to put her life on hold. Almost immediately, the treatments robbed Jessica of the long hair she once cherished. “That was hard. But I soon decided I couldn't let my hair define me. I had to be bold. I chose not to wear a wig and opted for cute hats instead. I got through it and it wasn't so bad,” Jessica remembered.

Today, as she nears the end of her treatment, Jessica shares her story because she wants to encourage other women facing cancer. Each time she’s given the opportunity to offer hope and reassurance, she receives an unexpected blessing. And for that, she feels grateful.