Editor’s Note: Throughout the 2018 Major League Baseball season, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Seattle Mariners are recognizing “Hutch Heroes,” individuals who face cancer with the same determination and spirit as our center’s namesake, Seattle baseball legend Fred Hutchinson. We are proud to share more about one of our featured Hutch Heroes here, and we invite you to show your support for them — and help fuel discoveries that can start cures — by donating to Fred Hutch.
When Pamela Mushen was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer on Christmas Eve of 1996, her first thought was that she had to get her youngest boy, Jeffery, then 12, through high school.
“You kind of become a different person if your mom dies at that age,” Mushen said. “My deal was, ‘Just let me get him through high school. Let me get him formed.’”
That resolve helped Mushen get through a lumpectomy, radiation, chemotherapy and a grueling, experimental stem cell transplant.
Today Jeffery, who will turn 34 next month, has a child of his own — Mushen’s first granddaughter. And she has five lively grandsons from her two older boys, twins Jesse and Jeremiah.
“I feel very blessed,” Mushen said.