While June is the month for dads and grads, one young man from northern Belize has decided to share his story of his own challenges and how his mother’s love inspired him to push forward. It’s a story that proves the old adage “sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws”. Reporter Vejea Alvarez explains in the following report.
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Two and a half months ago eighteen year old Eric Santos found himself heartbroken at the fact that his mother was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. A condition of this nature is one that often zaps away hope and in its place despair. But that did not stop Eric from doing all he could to ensure that he could finish his education. This weekend Eric was among more than one hundred students who graduated from Saint John’s College Junior College with honors. He describes it as much more than a personal accomplishment but one that is a reflection of his mother’s resilience; an innate strength he says pushed him through and the sacrifices she made to make him succeed.
Eric Santos, SJCJC Graduate: “For us I was surprised because my mom never showed any symptoms of being ill or being tired or anything so it was a shock for us especially because you know that your mother is the foundation in your household. So when you know that there’s an issue with that you know that things will not be easy. Ways for us that we’ve been able to cope is to just be together as a family I think that’s one of the strongest bonds we can do and just be there for each other because at the end of the day the one that is suffering the most is my mother and we just need to be there for her. I never really understood it because I saw other children with their parents and everything and so on but I realized that my situation is different, that I need to take sacrifices as well and I think as a child I needed to mature fast enough than other kids because I just didn’t have the opportunity to fail or repeat you know. So I think my mother really in her way she taught me that I need to work harder than others and just appreciate everything I had in front of me.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: The angst of seeing his mother helpless to pain brought on by chemotherapy is one that fueled his hunger for success. Eric describes his mother as being his Wonder Woman and that’s because despite being weak she attended his graduation and witnessed the product of her unwavering love.
Eric Santos, SJCJC Graduate: “Before exams I got a job so I had a job, I had finals week and my mother was out of country so all of that burden it became a lot for me but at the end of the day I just sat down, breathed, reflected and I knew that you just have to put your head up, that’s all you have to do. You just have to focus on what you goal is and it will work out. This is just a challenge in my life right now. It was really touching because I thought she wouldn’t be here because I thought she would still be over in Merida but now she came here and she told me “Eric I’m gonna be here for you.” and I told her you don’t have to push yourself because I don’t want to see you ill or anything like that but she was still there and I felt really proud. It really shows that a mother will go through everything just to be there for you and at that moment I knew that there won’t be anyone else like her.”
Vejea Alvarez, Love FM News: Eric says that he is hopeful his mother will be able to beat cancer and return to being her joyous self.