by Sherry Hu and Christina Arce
SEBASTOPOL (CBS SF) — Many mothers and daughters have close relationships and they call themselves “best friends.”
Students Rising Above scholar Jayde Hill has that kind of bond with her mom. A medical diagnosis challenged them at first, then brought them even closer together.
LEARN MORE: Students Rising Above
On the softball field, Hill’s coach, Nick Houtz, describes the high school senior as a “power hitter,” adding “she’s scary sometimes.”
However, when she’s at home, Jayde reveals a different kind of strength.
Six years ago, her mother, Jennifer Hill, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Jennifer admits it was a struggle in the beginning, but over the years, the single mom and her only child formed an unshakable connection.
“I take care of her every single day. We have a special bond.” Jayde says, “I clean, I cook… I’m pretty much her legs.”
When asked about their relationship, her mother, Jennifer, says, “I think the world of her. She’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” And goes on to say, “it doesn’t have anything to do with what she does for me. It’s just because I’m proud of the fact that she’s who she is. She’s a strong girl.”
When Jayde isn’t in class or helping out at home, you can find her at one of her two part time jobs or on the softball field playing for Analy High School’s varsity team.
Like sports – she’s training for the big league – college and possibly a career in physical therapy.
Jayde explains, “college is my gateway to my new start.”
Jayde’s dream would bring together the two things she loves most in life and that is to play Division I softball in college with her mom on the sidelines cheering her on, just as Jennifer always has.
Yet college will also open a new challenge for Jayde and her mom. It’s their plan to have Jennifer move and follow Jayde wherever she ends up.
“I love her to death, I don’t want her to be far away from me. She’s my best friend and I don’t know what I’m going to do without her,” Jayde says.
“We’ve agreed that’s what we both want. I’ve never missed a game, ever since she was 10 years old,” Jayde’s mother tells us.
Jayde says her mother has always been her “rock” and her “support system for everything.”
The mother and daughter now look to the future with excitement as both women’s dreams may very soon become realities.