What's her secret?: 'Don't ever give up'

abredeson@islandpacket.comSeptember 30, 2013 

The Bowes family, from left, Kylie, Chris, Sue, Brady and Sydney are photographed outside their Bluffton home on Sept. 26.

JAY KARR — Jay Karr Buy Photo

  • REAL MOMS, REAL ADVICE

    The moms featured in this column are not bragging about themselves. They often have no idea they are even being selected for the weekly feature until they get a phone call. Most are recommended by readers. Please send your suggestions of Lowcountry moms to features writer Amy Bredeson at abredeson@islandpacket.com.

Name: Sue Bowes

Husband: Chris

Town: Bluffton

Children: Sydney, 11; Kylie, 9; Brady, 2

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom

Go-to dinner: Baked meatballs

Biggest pet peeve: Trying to be organized with three children

Hobbies: Yoga, reading, watching movies with the kids and walking on the beach

Volunteer work: Bowes volunteers at Cross Schools, where her two daughters attend. She also helps out with the Church of the Cross's food bank.

Favorite mommy moment: Bowes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. She said when she was really sick, her daughter Kylie wanted to take care of her, and it was so sweet. "It was a special moment, I think, because she realized, even though she was so young, that Mommy was sick," she said. "And it touched my heart so much because I didn't think she would understand at such a young age."

Most challenging moment: "Having to get through all the treatment," Bowes said. "It was pretty brutal towards the end." She went through a double mastectomy, radiation and eight rounds of chemotherapy to fight the cancer. "I couldn't eat anything ... And I think the hardest part was not having my family here to give me their support. I mean they tried so hard. My mom was here after I had my surgery."

Stress reliever: Listening to music

Advice for other moms: "Being a mom, we're usually the ones that hold the fort down," Bowes said. "If we are ever taken down with an illness, you just don't realize how much people rally around you. It was just completely overwhelming, the support that we've gotten. I think my biggest advice is: Even if you get sick like I did, which was stage three breast cancer ... don't ever give up. Don't ever give up. And I didn't. I never gave up."

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