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Mary Kincaid said she doesn’t know how she’s made it through the events of her life over the past two years.
Kincaid, 24, said her relatives, who all live nearby in her Pinson neighborhood, have been a strong support system.
She has been hospitalized and has undergone surgery for a brain tumor in 2006 and again when it returned in February of this year.
She also is going through a divorce and is a single mother of three young boys – 5, 3 and 1-years-old.
Her youngest, 1-year-old Kaleb, has undergone surgery on his skull and receives assistance from the Kiwanis Center and a speech therapist from LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center.
This is the first Christmas that the Kincaids have had together in awhile without the presence of an illness, she said.
“I feel great now,” said Kincaid, who still travels to Vanderbilt Medical Center every three months to have doctors check her condition.
Kincaid’s family is being featured in The Jackson Sun in conjunction with the Brighter Christmas program.
In its 36th year, Brighter Christmas is a community outreach program that provides money, clothes, toys, food and other items to families in need throughout the year. Families featured in The Sun are referred by area social service agencies.
Kincaid said her ever-growing sons are in need of clothes and shoes.
Her eldest, Jacob, who attends a Headstart program, does not have many clothes that still fit him, she said.
Medical bills and a lack of income have put a strain on her household. Kincaid has been unable to work following two months of radiation treatment for the brain tumor. She recently started working at Fred’s.
“I pushed myself to go to work,” Kincaid said. “I get tired from working and chasing the boys around, but it’s never boring and always interesting with them around.”
This holiday season, Kincaid is trying to teach her boys about helping others in need.
“We’re going through all of their toys and separating the ones they still play with from the ones they don’t,” Kincaid said. “We’re going to take all their old toys to Goodwill, so they can help other children.”
Kincaid said she doesn’t let her circumstances affect her mood.
“You can’t dwell on it, or let things get you down,” Kincaid said. “I’ve got three kids, and you can’t think about the bad all of the time.”
Kincaid, a graduate of South Side High School, said she hopes to become a medical transcriptionist, which would allow her to work from home.
“I want to fix up this trailer and get a better home and job,” Kincaid said. “I want to be able to afford to get my sons the things they want.”