NC mom beats cancer, graduates nursing school with daughter

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN/CNN) — A mother who beat cancer is graduating from UNC Charlotte with her daughter, both with Master’s degrees in nursing.

There is no bond quite like the bond between a mother and daughter. This duo is no exception.

Side-by-side, they’re moving mountains and beating cancer. They share a passion for healing.

Together, they’ve graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in nursing.

When Shonicia Jones earned her nursing degree, she knew she’d broken the mold.

Jones is the first from her family to graduate from college. Little did she know then, she was just getting started.

“You know, I was finished, and then of course my daughter came along and she became a nurse,” Jones said.

“Even though she felt like she was done with all of her education, I said come on mom, let’s do it, because I just new that she could do it,” her daughter Beniecia Barnett said.

For the last two years, the mother and daughter have been pursuing their Master’s degree together.

“She’s the reason why I went into nursing in the first place,” Jones said.

Though in 2019, the path for Jones took a turn she didn’t expect. It was stage two breast cancer.

“In the beginning she had a mammogram, an ultrasound in the same year and it was negative,” Barnett said.

“I felt a lump doing a self breast exam,” Jones said.

Jones had a major surgery to remove both her breasts and stayed in school.

“I had to start the whole chemo journey. Lose my hair, all of that. I would be at chemo doing a discussion board and things like that. Just fighting through it and just determined that was going to be my light at the end of this cancer journey,” Jones said.

The cancer journey is not over yet.

Jones went back to work for the first time on Tuesday. She’ll go through treatments for the rest of the year.

But she is finished her Master’s program in Nursing Administration. Her daughter, for Nursing Education.

And the two will graduate — together.

“There’s so much temptation, I could’ve quit at any stage. But for me, I just tell anybody whenever they ask me, you would be amazed at what you could do if you just don’t quit,” Jones said.

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