Watch: Mother Who Battled Breast Cancer Twice Graduates College With Her Daughter

| Inspiration

Talk about a monumental achievement for one Georgia family!

Tasha Oliver, a 44-year-old cancer survivor received her bachelor’s degrees in health care management from Clayton State University last week alongside her daughter, Cierra Patterson, 24.

“It felt great, especially being able to accomplish it with my mom,” Patterson told Inside Edition. “We were able to level each other out, and be the support system we both needed.”

Though the two never planned to graduate from college together, Oliver started taking classes years before her daughter, but was delayed by cancer treatments. Eventually, the two caught up to each other.

MORE: 7 Benefits of Going Back to School

Patterson explains that her mother gave birth to her when she was 19, going on to pursue a career as a cook in the military. But after battling breast caner in 2005, Oliver grew unsatisfied with her job and decided to head back to school for a college degree in 2008. However, two years later, she would battle breast cancer for a second time.

“The first time, I was so young. I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t really express it,” Oliver said. “The second time, I was a little stronger but nobody ever thought it would come back. It was scary for everybody.”

The mother-of-three will now be heading back to school to pursue her master’s, while her daughter will head to nursing school in the fall.

“I hope it inspires other people to not think they’re too old or too far gone,” Patterson said. “You can go and study. Get your education.”

In fact, Patterson said their joint graduations even inspired her dad, John Oliver, 41, to go back to school to study supply chain logistics.

Photo Credit: iStock

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Tania Hussain |

Tania Hussain is a native of Toronto and a Hoosier at heart, studying journalism at Ball State University in Indiana. She has a mad love for fine cheese, film, music, and meeting people upon her many travels. When Tania’s not writing at Womanista, she can be found going for long nature runs, rooting for the Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Cardinals, photographing sights and food, or writing for her online magazine, The Hudsucker. She is also a member of the Indy-based, Society of Professional Journalists—one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists.