• Spread the love




Our mom of the year is amazing, kind, caring and so much more. Don’t take my word – read her daughter Stella’s letter

Spread the love

Sometimes life is unfair, don’t you think?!  Sometimes, it just sucks. But – every time, we have to keep going, keep moving, never give up AND while doing that – we have to teach our kids to do it, too. One mom I know is literally the epitome of resilience, courage, and determination.

We celebrate all moms. We know how tough of a job it is. It’s brutal. And beautiful.

Being a mom is a lovely, sweet, and amazing responsibility. It is rewarding beyond measure and can fill you with a happiness and joy like nothing else can.  But, let’s not sugar coat it – it’s also the most challenging and difficult job on the planet. It is hard to navigate at times. You basically have to follow your instincts – which means doubting yourself on a regular basis, over-analyzing everything and hoping and praying you’re doing everything right.

It’s a big job.

So, I thought long and hard about how I could find a local mom and reward her, pamper her, show her that we are all by her side, cheering her on.

It took me about one second to figure out the mom I wanted to celebrate!

Her name is Jen Usiak. Her daughter is my friend, Sweet Stella! You may know Stella’s story. She’s been battling leukemia for half of her life. Half of her life. She’s 14. (She’ll be 15 next month) If you don’t know Stella’s story you can find more on her Facebook Page (and like it while you’re there!!!)

I could go on and on about what a wonderful mother Jen is. What an unbelievable advocate she is for her kids. I could tell you that even through her pain, she takes amazing care of her kids. I can tell you all that and more. But, I’d rather let her daughter, Stella tell you. She wrote this letter about her mom.

“Without my mom we wouldn’t be a family. We just wouldn’t be able to function. Mom is the glue that holds us together. Mom always is willing to do whatever she can do to help us. She’s always been there to support me and my family. She and my dad are always a team and she and my dad are equally important and without her or my dad life wouldn’t be the same. My dad will always play games with me. My mom is always there to take care of me and my brother while my dad is at work making income for the family so we have the essentials like food and clothes. My mom always makes me laugh even when I’m feeling sad or sick. She is always willing to give me a hug and comfort me when I’m feeling down. I have had a lot of nightmares and it’s been hard for me to sleep since I’ve been diagnosed and even more so since I’ve had my seizures and kidney failure. I also have a hard time falling asleep at the hospital and she’s always there to snuggle me until I’m asleep. My mom also goes out of her way by learning how to run an IV pole at night so that I get the medicine and fluids I need. This requires her to stay awake most of the night and then she has to wake up early so she can take me to appointments or school. I don’t know how she does it. But my dad plays with me and jokes around with me and takes care of me and my family during the weekend. That’s one of the ways my parents are a team. They fit together perfectly and always make things work out. Yes there’s bumps in the road and nobody’s perfect but we always come out as a whole family. Because I like school so much my parents have let me continue to go so I can graduate 9th grade. in order for this to happen all year long my moms has had to try and plan as many appointments around school as she can, and when I do go to school she has to come every day at 11:35 so I can take my medicine for pain otherwise I cannot function. Thanks to my mom and dad, my brother and I have been able to live the most normal life possible in our situation. Mom, dad and my brother have taught me how to not go crazy and stay positive and how to laugh instead of cry. They always have cheered me on and taught me how to be a warrior and a survivor. I would never have had enough fight in me to make it this long without my family and even my cat and dog. My mom helps me so much and in so many ways I could never be able to mention them all. She has learned to become an on-the-go nurse, an advocate, a counselor, a doctor, a researcher, a supporter, a cheerleader, a momcologist, a best friend, I could just keep going on but most importantly, I’m lucky to be able to say she is my mom.”


So, here is what our mom of the year will win!

full spa day for TWO at KaLu Salon and Day Spa (2874 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Amherst)

  • This includes a one hour massage, pedicure, manicure, shampoo and blow dry (FOR TWO! a $550 value). Spa owner, Tammy Pollino  says she is so happy to take part and here’s why, “It’s quite simple. We love to spoil our mom.”

A gift basket from Aceti’s Wine and Spirits (2156 Grand Island Boulevard, Grand Island)

A $50 gift certificate from Buffalo Riverworks (359 Ganson Street, Buffalo)

Pampering Gifts (lavender spa mittens and a mom sign)  from The Perfect Gift, (6000 Goodrich Road, Clarence Center)

A week of delicious precooked dinners from the amazing meal prep company – Cooked Buffalo!

Member for a day to Albright Knox Art Gallery!!

  • Member for a day passes (free admission, parking and discounts to the shops), a docent tour AND art books!!

A First-N-Ten Game

Thank you to all of these amazing business and people who were willing to donate such incredible prizes to our most deserving mom of the year!!!!!

Mary Friona

Mary Friona

Following my heart with my husband and four daughters. An Emmy Award winning journalist lucky enough to work in television & radio for 20 years - seeing wonderful places, meeting great people and telling their stories.

Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Kathryn Kiley


    Congratulations Jen! Well said Stella and; you are so right. Your Mom is one Very Special lady who sure deserves this recognition & pampering!??

  • Avatar



    This just made my day !!! So happy for Jen she is so deserving of this prize.. God bless her and continued prayers for her and Stella????

  • Avatar

    Patricia Courtney


    Such a wonderful honor for a very deserving woman. Jen is my niece and I’m constantly amazed at how strong she has become. The entire family is wonderful and I love them with all my heart. Thank you so much for honoring her.

  • Avatar

    Maudine Hackett


    Great job Stella!!!!
    Congrats Jen!! Well deserved!!! Enjoy♡♡♡♡

Comments are closed