Heather Von St. James first met her husband Cameron via the internet in 1998. “I had moved to the Twin Cities on bit of a whim, and didn’t know anyone, so I went online looking to just meet people from the area, no romantic inclinations whatsoever, but then we met,” said James. They were married ten months later.
Early in the marriage, James learned that she had mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer. “We immediately knew we needed to fight, and a quiet determination took over quite fast,” said James. They immediately got on the path to fight mesothelioma together and never second guessed their choice.
Heather with her daughter, Lily.
James went to Boston to receive treatment. She was often away for long periods of time from her husband and young daughter Lily. To cope with her predicament, James would sleep with a baby blanket of Lily’s. She said God, Lily, and Cameron helped keep her going. “God is my reason for hope,” said James, “He brought me through this and I do what I do because of Him.” James was able to beat mesothelioma.
James talks about how she has her good and bad days. In February, her father passed away and healing from his death has been tough for her. “I think I’ve cried more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 8 years,” says James.
James still won’t give up though. “I am taking a lot of what I learned through my battle, and am using it to get through this part of the journey, too,” says James.
Today James strives to bring awareness to the world of what mesothelioma is. She also strives to make a difference in the lives of all those she comes in contact with. “I’m there for people when they need me, and am trying my best to help out the meso community,” says James.
James is involved with the Mesothelioma Foundation. She has met many other mesothelioma survivors along the way. “They inspire me,” says James.
James has also been getting involved with other survivor communities, including Stupid Cancer, which is geared toward young adult cancer survivors.
James says that if she didn’t have God to lean on during her battle with mesothelioma she doesn’t know where she’d be today. When asked what the greatest lesson was that she gained from her experiences she said, “I’m stronger than I ever dreamed I was but my strength isn’t my own.”
We may feel weak at times like Heather did but one cannot underestimate the power of the human spirit. You may be facing similar challenges like Heather or trying circumstances. Do not doubt yourself. Rely on God and those you love. Together, they will help you achieve your true potential in life and reach heights you never dreamed possible.
To find out how you can help, or learn more about Heather’s journey, check out her blog page at: