Moms Know Best: Avyan's mom, Divya

Divya appreciates the small moments, finds peace in giving

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  •  2 min

St. Jude patient Avyan’s mom Divya

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Quiet mornings enjoying ginger-spiced tea with her son Avyan feel like a gift for Divya. Life before childhood cancer hit this family of four was a constant rush: everyone running everywhere all at once. But cancer has a way of putting a hard pause on life as you know it.

“For me, it just taught us to appreciate the little moments more, to create more room for grace and gratitude,” Divya said.  

It was a hot August in North Carolina four years ago when Avyan began to complain of nausea and headaches. Divya had thought maybe it was a stomach bug or the heat getting to him. But it turned out to be a cancerous mass in his brain, which required surgery just days after his symptoms had begun to emerge. Tests and scans confirmed Avyan’s diagnosis, and Avyan was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he needed a second surgery.

Video: Hey Divya, what's your best parenting advice?

“We were shattered by all of this. You have these questions swirling: Why my child? What did I do wrong? You question your faith. You question your choices,” Divya said. “But there is no answer, no reason for any of this. You realize you need to be strong, cut out the outside noise and just take it step by step.” 

She found peace in generosity. Giving brought her strength.

She made mango mousse for the doctors and nurses taking care of Avyan. She made new friends among other St. Jude families, offering them empathy and comfort over cups of spiced tea.  

His treatment was successful, and Avyan has been back home for three years. He is 13 now and has a busy life taking tennis lessons and competing in one of his state’s top robotics teams. But he and Divya remember to linger in the mornings. Carve out quiet time to just be still, meditative and mindful of what they’ve endured.

Read more about Avyan's time at St. Jude here.

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