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A Nurse’s Story: Mother sets example to emulate

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 - 3:00pm

By Amanda Luvison

(RN-BSN student graduating this weekend)

Ever since I could remember I have wanted to be a nurse. I used to spend my days after school at this little medical center in my small rural town with my mother, who was their nurse practitioner. 

Mom had always dedicated her life to the care and health of others. She even traveled to Africa on a mission trip to help the poverty-stricken residents of Chad with their healthcare needs.

I grew up in the healthcare field, but it wasn’t until 1997 that I saw first-hand the positive difference that nurses can make. My mother was diagnosed with melanoma. At that time, not much was known about melanoma except that it was an aggressive and deadly skin cancer. I remember going with her to appointments and hospital visits. 

She was such an amazing woman that she turned her struggle and suffering into teaching moments because she knew I wanted to follow in her nursing footsteps. Along the way we had such a strong support system from her friends and colleagues. The most amazing people I have ever met were encountered during that time, and they were the nurses. 

Nurses are truly the most kind, caring, selfless, compassionate and loving people you will ever meet. My mother’s best friend, who was a registered nurse, never left her bedside while she was taking her last breaths. 

My mother fought a courageous fight against cancer for five years before she was laid to rest. To this day, I meet people who say how she had changed their lives and how grateful they are that their lives crossed paths. Her impact continues every year with the Nyla Luvison Memorial 5K Run that benefits the American Cancer Society. 

Even though she is no longer with us, she is still helping those in need. She is the reason that I am a nurse, she and all the other amazing nurses who were there for us during such a tragic time. 

I am now a registered nurse at UPMC Hamot in the Medical Oncology unit. Most days are very hard for me. I relive my greatest nightmare almost daily. But when I get to be that nurse who is there for patients and their families, no other job can be more rewarding. Nurses are truly amazing people.