If ever there was a picture of courage, beauty, and strength, Liz Revis would be it. The single mom of two from Bremerton, Washington has been bravely facing the biggest challenge of her life for nearly a year, and is doing so with an amazing amount of grace, humility, and love.
As Revis tells Babble, she was first diagnosed with a very rare form of ovarian cancer earlier this year, and has faced countless challenges and setbacks ever since - including the news that the cancer has spread to her lungs, liver, and lymph nodes.
But every step of the way, she's had the love and support of her children. And that has made all the difference.
Something about her story reminds me of the wise words author Brene Brown once said: Sometimes the bravest and most important thing you can do is just show up.
And showing up is something that Revis does daily. She shows up, and bravely faces whatever comes her way - head-on.
She even recently took matters into her own hands after discovering her hair was falling out due to her chemo treatments. "I realized I had two choices: Either wait for my hair to thin and fall out or take charge and do it myself," she tells Babble.
Take charge she did. She even threw a "shaving party" with friends and family before she fearlessly shaved off her locks.
Yet while Revis 's cancer journey has been inspiring everyone around her for some time, the most inspiring part of all came when her 9-year-old daughter Leila decided to shave a patch of her own hair too, in solidarity and support for her mom.
"I got completely choked up when she asked if she could shave a patch of her hair too. To my knowledge no one had encouraged her, or spoken to her about it at all," Revis tells Babble. "At 9 years old, for her to come up with something like that, I'm blown away."
But in some ways, Leila's grand gesture is no surprise to her mom:
"Leila has always been super sensitive, and intuitive to others feelings," Revis explained. "When those pictures were being snapped I was just feeling so much pride. I was overcome because she wanted to be there for me. And she wanted to show others where she stands too."
All it takes is one look at Revis's face while she describes how proud she is of her daughter, to be convinced of the special bond that she and Leila have. And all it takes is a few minutes with Leila to know that her mom has done an amazing job raising her to be a strong, compassionate human being.
"At an age when it is tough to be outside of the social box, especially for girls, the fact that Leila is willing to march to the beat of her own drum for something she believes to be important leaves me speechless," Revis shares. "There are no words to describe the love and admiration I have for her."
Even as cancer takes over her body and causes an excruciating amount of pain, this all-consuming love and admiration she has for her children is the reason she gets up and fights every single day.
"My son Hendrix and I are close in the way that only mothers and sons can be. He tells me I'm beautiful and a 'pretty mama' every night before bed and every morning when he wakes up," Revis shares, welling up with tears.
And by the looks of it, 4-year-old Hendrix definitely had something to do with his mama looking so beautiful with her new style.
Just in case we needed one more reason to admire this brave woman and her remarkable children, a recent post on her private Facebook page shows us all that humanity does win out:
"So don't give up my friends," wrote Revis. "Because, I'm not. Please pray, please love us; especially my kiddos. I have to pinch myself when I think of the kindness that's been offered to my family in the face of such darkness. Where some people might be alone and afraid, I have the backing of a mighty team. How could I be anything but brave?"
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