October – the month known for all the spooky scary skeletons, demons, and ghouls that come out to play. However, to many across the globe, it also represents a month of strength to those who have braved and taken on one of the scariest trials anyone can ever face: cancer.

Specifically, breast cancer, as October is the official month for breast cancer awareness.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, it’s estimated that over 246,000 women in the United States alone will be diagnosed with breast cancer, as it’s most common among women worldwide. In contrast to that, however, there are 2.8 million women survivors in America today.

With that being said, I not only want to raise more awareness about this, but also send praise to someone in my life who is currently fighting the hard battle against breast cancer.


Source: Coral Avery

Meet Ellen Erickson. Home grown San Diegan of 20 years old, as of today. (Happy birthday, El!) I’ve personally known her for nearly eight years, through our family’s deep love and devotion to baseball. When we first met, Ellen was already fighting the battle against cancer, specifically with Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that was located in her left knee. Besides the many treatments and doctor visits she underwent during this time, this period in her life took a huge toll on her physically, mentally, and emotionally, as it did for her family and loved ones as well.

But, it never stopped her from having the brightest smile in the room, no matter what the circumstance was.


Source: Giselle Jasmin

And after years of battling with Osteosarcoma, that smile never faded. Throughout all her struggles, family and loved ones watched Ellen as she blossomed into the strong, beautiful young woman she is today. Graduating from Eastlake High School in 2014, Ellen grew not only in her accomplishments, but in strength as a survivor as well. She attends Camp Reach For the Sky annually, always meeting both new and old cancer survivors throughout the years, bringing both the love and compassion she shares equally with anyone and everyone she meets.

So when her diagnosis of breast cancer came back this year, that love that she cultivated and spread out amongst everyone she met came back in more ways than I could ever count.


Source: Cyndi Erickson

From t-shirts, wristbands, pink hair, fundraisers, and shaved heads, support from the Eastlake community and even worldwide came together to show their love and support for Ellen as she takes on cancer for a second time in her lifetime.

As the battle continues through chemo therapy, Ellen continues to be the strong individual that I’ve always known her to be. So here’s to you, Ellen Erickson: may you kick cancer’s ass for a final second battle, and continue to inspire many, many more to follow in your strength and love to overcome anything that stands in their way.

And to the countless others who have taken on breast cancer- or any cancer for that matter-, may you continue to fight and inspire, and never lose faith.