Campaign One at a Time comes across a wide variety of people, whom have gone through many different situations. One of our recent new friends, Melissa Barajas, has quite the story.
A lot of us have felt the heartbreak of a cancer diagnosis; Melissa, has felt that heartbreak multiple times throughout her life.
At the age of eight years old, Melissa’s father was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor and soon after lost his battle, leaving his family behind. At just eight years old, cancer was a foreign topic to Melissa, as she was unable to fully comprehend the reasoning behind losing her father. As years went on, Melissa was left with the scar of living life without her father. As expected, life went on and she made a life for herself. She married, went to school, had a family, and had a content life.
In September of 2015, Melissa’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. Due to the circumstances, Melissa placed her life on hold, left her job, and stayed home 24/7 to be a stay at home nurse and mother to her daughter, as well as maintain a positive living environment for the rest of the household. She did what every mother would do, and juggled medications, shots, port drainings, chemotherapies, long car rides, and hospital stays all while doing her regular mother/wife duties. After nearly a year of her daughter’s cancer journey, Melissa’s daughter was considered in remission and is now going on three years cancer free. Again, time went on and life went back to normal. Melissa went back to work, her daughter back to school, and she managed mothering, being a wife, and life in general like anyone else would.
Unfortunately, in November of 2017, Melissa’s mother was diagnosed with colon cancer. Due to the circumstances, Melissa had to once again leave her job, put life on hold, and played the role of a 24/7 caregiver, all while still maintaining the busy job of being a mother and wife. Melissa took her mother into her own home, and cared for her 24/7. As many of us know, a caner diagnosis and caring for someone with a cancer diagnosis is and can be very demanding on a person. Melissa found ways to distract herself from the heartache and feeling of helplessness, and stressful situations by crafting. She had always had a ting for the hobby, but now found herself needing at least a couple minutes a day to craft, in order to mentally and emotionally regroup in preparation to take on the days of a caregiver, mother, and wife. She crafted early before the household awoke, late at night once everyone was asleep, and even in the waiting rooms of every oncology appointment and hospital stays. Melissa had taken her mother into her own home and cared for her 24/7 for a whole year, until her mother lost her battle against cancer in November of 2018.
Throughout the ups and downs of Melissa’s life and riding the rollercoaster of a cancer diagnosis, she had the distant hope of one day opening her very own business. Due to life’s gamble, it has taken quite some time, but Melissa’s dream will finally be a reality. On June 15th of this year, Melissa will be opening up her very own store called, “Mrs. Bee’s Home Furnishing & Decor.” She has become an official FAT paint retailer and has filled her store with refurbished furniture, home decor, and anything you can think of; ranging from baby nurseries to she sheds/ man caves, and so much more!
Melissa is a prime example that “going through cancer” doesn’t always mean you are the one with a diagnosis. She has gone through cancer three separate times; as a child, as a caregiver, and as a mother and has placed her own life on hold every single time in order to help those who needed her. She has proven that no matter how much negativity you are faced with, you always learn something and have the ability to obtain a new level of strength that can be implemented into a much more positive situation; such as reaching your goals.
Aside from her business, Melissa has also decided she wants to give back and continue to help those who need the extra support. She has partnered up with Campaign One at a Time and will now be supplying personalized beanies to every child we sponsor. Melissa knows that life can be hectic and overwhelming during the duration of a cancer journey, and she wants to do her part and help bring a smile to our campaign kiddos’ faces – one beanie at a time!
Melissa Barajas invites us to visit her business, as her grand opening is approaching soon. She hopes her ability to turn negative situations, such as a cancer diagnosis, will encourage parents, family, and friends of those going through a cancer journey to always find the good, even if it takes longer than expected!
You can learn more about Melissa’s business, Mrs. Bee’s by clicking here <3