Posted at: 03/17/2013 10:39 PM
By: Jenna Lohse
A Rochester woman who has been battling cancer for almost 5 years says her strength stems from her son and her desire to watch him cross each milestone in life.
Even though they're more than 300 miles apart, Carla Hicks and her son Jordan remain close at heart.
"I don't see her as just like a mom, I see her as a best friend," said Jordan Hicks.
Jordan is a senior at Loyola University Chicago and just finished his last year on the basketball court. While it's hard being away from his mom during her battle with cancer, Jordan says he's doing it for her.
"It helps to know that this is what she wants me to do and this is where I need to be," said Jordan.
Carla's battle with cancer has lasted nearly 5 years, spreading to her lungs, brain and spine.
"I tried to give it my all, but it just wasn't winnable," said Carla Hicks.
But she's holding on for Jordan.
"Even though he's 22, you know a mom worries about her child," said Carla.
Having close friends and family to watch over Jordan is what Carla clings to.
"I know he's going to be in good hands," said Carla.
The turnout for Carla's benefit Sunday night proves support is all around her.
"It's really cool tonight to be able to see all these people coming out for such a wonderful person," said Shaun Lang, a close family friend who coached Jordan in high school.
"Just knowing that we have so many people that love her and are thinking about her and caring for her, it just means the world to me," said Jordan.
Jordan's milestones are documented in pictures throughout Carla's house and she is hoping to add at least one more to the collection.
"My next goal is reaching graduation, if I have anything to say about it I'll be here," said Carla.
"That's what it is for me, it's him. You know, I'm excited to get to heaven," said Carla.
The money raised at the benefit tonight will go towards Carla's medical expenses.