Was there a moment in your journey with your mom that led you to the ACS?
Honestly, just it being a celebration each and every day. As I said, my mom's a 16-year breast cancer survivor, and I think that's something that deserves to be celebrated. Also with me being able to reach so many people, I feel like it's my obligation, and it's something that I so want to do and desire in my heart, because it's something that's been so close and dear to me, especially with my experience and going through it with my mom and being there alongside her in the hospital, being there taking care of her at home, being her little doctor when I was little -- it brings it all back. It's something that we feel like we have to do. It's really special.
You could just see the radiance shine through her [at the breast cancer walk] and the light and the happiness and gratefulness that she had being amongst other people who went through the same thing. Representation is so important for anybody, but especially someone going through a tough time -- you want someone to talk to and have somebody that you can relate to, so it was cool to be among so many people that also care about you.
And I know it's not just your mom who's battled cancer -- your grandfather is sick now as well?
Yeah, my grandfather battled prostate cancer [but he is well now], and I just found out another uncle is battling [prostate] cancer as well, stage 4. Then my mom's brother, my uncle Norman who I'm named after, he died of lung cancer.
I'm so sorry to hear that. That is a lot for one family to go through. Mine is very similar, so I understand how difficult it is. Do you guys do anything specific as a family to cope and bond in such tough times?
I don't think it's necessarily one thing that we do -- it's just us being us. I'm in L.A., they're in Houston, Texas, but I make it a point every night before I go to sleep -- I have to call home to say I love you and to say goodnight, because we're not promised [tomorrow], and I think the things we've been through put those in perspective. It's just recognizing the reality that this is all real and being grateful for the time and the present with each other. I wish we could take more trips. I can only remember us having one family vacation, especially now that we're so busy, but I want to plan something. I want to go to Vegas or something for the New Year. My grandmother's going to help plan it all out, but I try to make it a point to think about those things. I'm not the best at planning, but I have good ideas!
That's OK, you can let Grandma plan!
Yeah! She can be my assistant.