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When Elloree resident Deidre Oliver was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, her thoughts immediately went to her two children.

"When you have kids, you realize you should be their everything," she writes in her winning essay in The T&D's Mother's Day contest.

"You feed and dress them and ensure they have all that they have to realize that they are loved,” she said.

"Other than the love for God, there is nobody I adore more than my children Tynesha (25) and Daquan (23)," she continued.

So when news came that she had cancer in 2010, Oliver began to wonder how she would care for her children.

"You wonder ‘Am I going to have the capacity to assist them with homework after surgery?’" she said. "Am I going to have the capacity to prepare them supper and get them up in the first part of the day?"

All she wanted to do was give her children an ordinary childhood during extraordinary times.

"I needed to make it a positive encounter," she said. ""Ideally, when my children grew up they'd think back and be pleased their mother was being so positive about it."

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During her illness, Oliver was on the receiving end of her children’s love.

"My children became my caregivers, helping me when I was unable to eat, get dressed and simply having the capacity to get through the day,” she said.

"No one can really tell how strong someone can be until they are put under serious scrutiny," she continued. "My children constantly call me their rock and they got that quality from me."

Oliver said she’s grateful for her journey.

“I'm living for the moment and praising God for every achievement, including birthdays and holidays,” she said.

Oliver has some words of wisdom for new moms.

"To be a mom is a blessing," she said. "Love your children and teach them the right way. What you teach your children will reflect on you and your motherhood."

Deidre Oliver and her children are featured on page C6 in today’s edition of The T&D.

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Contact the writer: gzaleski@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.

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