JONAS RIDGE, NC (WBTV) - Fear. You can let it define you and hold you back, or you can face it head-on.
May's Survivor of the Month does the latter everyday.
Thirty rounds of chemotherapy, thirty rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy couldn't stop this teacher and mom of a toddler.
When Erin Carver was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2013, she also found out she had a rare genetic mutation that makes her prone to different cancers.
Erin's mom Renee says Erin doesn't live in fear of getting cancer again. "(Erin) accepted it all from the start, she doesn't worry," Renee said. "She just knows everything's going to be OK."
Erin started a very aggressive treatment regimen in January 2014 that lasted for a year and a half. It included those 30 rounds of chemo, radiation, double mastectomy, and eventual reconstruction.
Erin's baby girl, Nora, was just 6-months-old when Erin was diagnosed. And on top of being the mother of an infant, Erin kept teaching through her treatments. Renee says Erin would take a few days off right after chemo to recuperate, then she went right back to her fifth graders.
Renee admits there were days where she wept and questioned, "Why her?" Looking back she doesn't think Erin ever said, "Why me?"
"She's amazing," Renee said. "She has a strength."
She also had an army of people around her supporting her. Renee couldn't say enough about her son-in-law Josh and his loving family who supported her daughter in her greatest time of need.
Erin also had a team of doctors in Boone that care for her in more ways than she could have ever expected. As she woke up from her first surgery, Erin says she heard the doctors and nurses in the room praying for her. It was an immense comfort since it was also Erin's first day of chemotherapy.
"That kind of care continues now and for the rest of her life," Renee says.
Renee remembers the day that her daughter decided to shave her head. It was a day her daughter's positive bubbly, attitude shined. Erin embraced the moment and laughed while her hair fell to the ground. She even sent pictures to her brothers, with a smiling face.
Renee says she wanted her daughter to be recognized as a Survivor of the Month to celebrate her Erin's strength, but that strength has not gone unnoticed in her community. Erin was honored this past year as Crossnore Elementary School's Teacher of the Year.
To this day, Erin is vigilant about staying ahead of detecting cancer in her body with regular scans and doctor visits. If this woman didn't have her hands full enough, she's currently working on her National Board Teacher Certification.