DELAWARE COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) - A Delaware County woman found a way to turn her mourning into meaning for many in her community. Catrina Jacobs is a mother who knows the unspeakable trauma of losing a child.
"He was in 12th grade and one day he told me that he was sick. So it was kinda like out of nowhere. He was never sick a day in his life," she said.
Sharif Jacob was diagnosed with leukemia in 2017. And what inspired Catrina was her son's faith and determination throughout his illness. Even after his death, he continues to inspire her.
"What I got out of that is when he was going through cancer, he never complained," Catrina said. "I just could never really get into a dark moment because my son was so positive."
And from that grief, sparked a moment for his mom to reach out and help others through the Nehemiah Hope Foundation, rebuilding the walls of hope for individuals and families affected by cancer.
"What we do is we help parents that are dealing with cancer," Catrina said. "Through that has allowed for people to really express their inner emotions to say, 'You know what? I'm going through this, it's not a good day. I got a bad doctor's report but we're here to support each other.'"
But Catrina didn't stop there. She also wrote a book entitled "A Walk of Faith." It's a 31-day devotional to help others deal with their loss, one day at a time.
"It's reminding you to keep looking forward; you know it's reminding you to not stay stuck in your past because I even talk about that – staying stuck in my past when I lost my first child, I didn't know how to get back up," Catrina said. "I knew I had to get back up and live again."
She lost three children – yet chooses to share her loss with members of the same grieving community. To not only talk about loss but to become a lifeline to those who have just lost hope.
"I have been through many personal trials and tribulations – I walk by faith, you know… we hear it… but I really walk by faith," Catrina said. "I think that's what I really want to tell people. Don't give up. You can get back up again – even though it may be a little different – you can get back up."
For more information on Cartina's foundation, click here.
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