Courtney Hubbard’s inspiring journey of grace, strength and courage is a lesson to all.
Little did Courtney Hubbard know that the land her family once owned in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, would one day provide the very foundation for the cancer center she would come to rely on for care, guidance and treatment.
It was July of 2009 when Courtney Hubbard, a 31-year-old wife and mother of twin six-year-olds and a four-year-old, would receive the diagnosis that nearly one in eight women will receive in their lifetime.
During a routine annual breast exam, Courtney’s OBGYN discovered a lump. Within 12 hours, she would learn that she had a very rare and aggressive form of breast cancer that would need immediate attention.
“My doctor told me that I would need to resign for the next year, because my job would be to fight for my life,” said Courtney. “After the initial shock and tears, I made the decision then to give it to God and do everything I possibly could to fight this disease with the support of my husband, family and friends.”
Courtney would spend the next 12 months traveling to and from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, undergoing treatments to fight the disease.
When the long year finally ended and the hard work was done, she began the road to recovery and resumed the roles she loved so dearly–wife, mom and Kindergarten teacher.
It was just a short time later that she would receive devastating news. The cancer had not only returned, but it had metastasized to bone. She was told the cancer was now classified as Stage IV, treatable but not curable.
“I was devastated, but having a better knowledge of what to expect in treatment, I pursued a different route,” said Courtney. “This time, I chose to be treated at Singing River Health System Regional Cancer Center, where I could stay at home and be surrounded by my family, friends and students.”
Courtney was very pleased to find that she could schedule appointments with her oncologist and hematologist, Dr. Benjamin Gatewood, around her school schedule.
“Dr. Gatewood is so easy to talk to and so extremely professional, I absolutely love him,” shared Courtney. “He explains everything so clearly, I have complete confidence I am receiving the best possible care.”
Courtney was recently approved to participate in a Phase I Clinical Drug Trial. Through a partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center, Singing River Health System Regional Cancer Center helps coordinate monthly visits to Houston with her ongoing care in Ocean Springs. The clinical quality and expertise at each facility has been exceptional for Courtney, but she feels a special connection to her care team in Ocean Springs.
“From the moment I walk in the door, I feel so much at home here,” said Courtney. “LeAnn and Lisa in patient access, Marion, my nurses Cori, Star, Lynn and Sarah–they represent a wonderful support network that becomes a part of your family.”
Courtney is also very thankful for her fellow teachers who pull together when she is out of the classroom.
Above all, Courtney praises God for the way she sees him work through all those participating in her care. “I pray to God every day to help those who are helping me, because He is the ultimate physician and He gets the glory,” she explained. “As I gave it to him in the very beginning, I continue to give it to him now.”
With renewed strength, she begins each day with peace and a sense of purpose, raising Maura-Kaye, Brock and Brayson with husband Mark and inspiring others with her grace.
» Discover more about Singing River Health System’s Regional Cancer Center, our physician team and treatment services.