Jackie Adams is not a typical 37-year-old single mother struggling to raise her children.
In addition to loving, nurturing, refereeing and parenting five children ages 2 to 11, she has waged a five-year battle with cancer.
The bubbly Ms. Adams laughed as her daughter, Marleigh, demanded her attention.
“What do you want, sweetie,” she asked one of the 2-year-old twins.
“Cookies,” the child stammered.
After laughing at the request, the mother looked lovingly at her child and said, “You have one in your hand. You’re OK.”
Ms. Adams said that she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 when she was pregnant with her third child.
She battled the cancer having a single mastectomy, but two years later, doctors discovered the cancer had returned during her pregnancy with her twin children. forcing her to have her other breast removed.
“Then in 2011 when I was pregnant with the twins, I found out that I when I was 20 weeks pregnant with them that, I had cancer on the other side. ... So I did chemo while I was pregnant with them,” she said.
She said she has tumors on the bone and in her pelvis and is undergoing treatments every three weeks.
Ms. Adams said her illness has been a way of life for all of her children, but they are doing fine.
“I think as long as I stay positive, they stay positive,” she said.
Ms. Adams said her church family at the Lakeview Church of the Nazarene has provided meals, spiritual help and love. Her parents have taken in their daughter and grandchildren and are providing much-needed love and support.
But there are the financial strains.
Even with her Medicare she has to pay $1,600 every three weeks for the rest of her life for treatments needed to stay alive.
“This isn’t just for five years. This is forever,” she said.
She said mothering does not take a back seat even though she is battling the disease.
“They know I am sick, but they still want to eat, to play and they sometimes just need their mother,” she said.
The Facebook group The Mancave (Smith County) tells Ms Adams’ story and calls upon its more than 10,600 members to assist the family this Christmas.
“She is a wonderful mom, she does everything she possibly can for these kids, but she struggles financially,” the Facebook page states. “She goes without, so they can be provided for. She puts all of their needs in front of hers, regardless how she is feeling. The aggressive treatments have really taken a toll on her quality of life but has not stopped her from doing everything she can for her kids. She is amazing and her faith is strong.”
Ms. Adams said she is thankful for the group and others in her community that have helped her family through the ordeal.
“For people want to help me is unbelievable,” she said. “Complete strangers, just wanting to step up and help. I have helped others and I would like to, when I get back on track, continue helping others. I want my kids to know that is what we do here in East Texas.”
Ms. Adams said she sees the help from the community and from social media as godsend.
“It’s just a miracle, and it’s amazing,” she said.
Anyone wanting to offer assistance to the Adams family can make a donation to the Jackie Adams Fund at any branch of the American State Bank or see the Mancave Facebook page for some ideas for Christmas presents for the children
Ms. Adams’ story also can be followed on the Facebook page titled “Jackie Adams Fight Until Victory.”