Rebecca Foley was born in Saint Louis Missouri, and that’s where she began playing soccer.
“I started playing select soccer there when i was about 11 or 12.”
It was then that Foley’s family moved to South Florida.
It’s where she continued her soccer career and the sunshine state quickly became her new home.
“I definitley kind of feel like more I grew up there. Just in that time of my life, I connected a lot with Florida and you know Missouri will always have a special place in my heart but Florida’s definitley where I call home.”
It was her junior year of high school when she started contemplating which college she wanted to play soccer for.
After visiting several schools it was then that she decided to commit to becoming a ragin cajun
“My plan going out of highschool, into college, I didn’t really have one I was just kind of up for anything. My doors were open and I was just ready to experience new things and excited to play soccer at the next level. Louisiana definitley stood out to me and after my junior year when i verbally committed my heart was set to go here.”
It was then, her junior year of high school, that she received the news.
“In April 2013 I got the news, well my mom got the news, that she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. It was very traumatic and you never think it’s going to happen until it happens to you and effects your family and that was definitley a big moment in my life. I remember her telling me one day after school. She sat me down and told me and I kind of just froze, didn’t really know how to take it or what to expect. then I told her, ‘if you lose your hair i’ll shave my head’ and i told her we’re in this together you know, i got your back. We were going to take this battle on as a team and we definitley did.”
Knowing the fight her mother was about to endure, Foley began to rethink going to college across state lines.
“It was extremley difficult I mean I looked at a lot of Florida schools that were much closer driving distance back to my mom. I’ve always been a mama’s girl so it was really hard to make that change and move but it was something that she supported me in and knowing that I had her support in it definitley made that final check mark off the list of I can do it I can experience it for myself and I think ultimately I wanted to go and make her proud and this was one of the best opportunities I had to go and do that.”
She committed to louisiana but continued to be by her mothers side through it all.
One of the hardest moments, was when Foley’s mom had to go through surgery.
“When cancer hits any family, it’s obviously devastating but I would have to say the most devastating point where it kind of all was after she went through a double mastectomy which is removing both of your breats and when she had that opperation done and afterwards taking care of her and helping her get through that was definitley an eye opening experience for me. It was something that will definitley stay with me for the rest of my life.”
After the procedure, Foley’s mother was cancer free, a survivor.
But unfortunately, all of that changed.
“Three years later after she thought that she was cancer free, in 2016 started getting pain in her hip, earlier this past year, 2017, January she went back and found out that she has stage four breast cancer. That’s not curable. It’s something that you have to get treated for the rest of your life and after she was thinking she was finished with one battle she went back through and has to fight a whole other battle for the rest of her life.”
Now, Foley is taking the time to not only educate herself but hopes to share with other women the battle that many have faced with breast cancer.
“It is metastatic breast cancer which my mother currently has and will have. That’s something that a lot of people don’t know about. That’s something that a lot of people think, you beat it and it’s over and it’s done but a lot of women go to stage four and that’s where it can kill. That’s where breast cancer can kill if it gets up to stage four and stage five.”
Even through the midst of battle, Foley knows her mother is humble, kind, graceful, brave, and above all, a fighter.
“I tell my mom how much she means to me every single dayof my life. She is my rock star and my role model for sure and I love her and I thank her for making me the woman that I am today, for sure.”
Click here for a support organization that does research on metastatic breast cancer.