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Celebrating Moms: Amherst mother does it all, despite added hurdles

Posted at 12:01 PM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 10:09:04-04

TOWN OF AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — Sheila Justin is an Amherst mother whose friends call her "Wonder Woman."

"I do everything on my own, pretty much," says Justin. "I don't ask for a lot of help and I find that a little bit empowering and I'm used to doing that. And, I get compliments from people."

Why "Wonder Woman?"

Justin is a single mother of four who runs two businesses.

"Three at home and then I have a 28-year-old who is on his own and going to have a baby in June," Justin says. "So, I'm going to be a grandma."

"I am constantly carting them all over the place."
Sheila Justin (center) and her family.

On top of being a soon-to-be grandmother and active mother of three at home, Justin said she needed some flexibility.

"I'd been an RN for 26 years," she explained, adding, "My first son, I felt like I missed out on a lot of time. When you work as a nurse, it's weekends, holidays. I just felt like I missed out on a lot."

So 16 years ago, Justin decided to changes things up when her son, Alex, was born, so she could be around her family more.

"I went back to school, for financial planning, I got all my certifications," she said.

Sheila currently has her own company and works as a financial advisor. But, she says it always felt like something was missing.

"I have this passion for nursing, and I thought, 'What can I do?' I went and got certified to give Botox and fillers and IV therapy I'm just putting myself back in the medical field but with a flexible schedule," she explained.

But while she was getting certified as an aesthetician this year, she received some shocking news.

"I did, yeah... February 1, I had realized my right eye had a slight blur in it," Justin said. "I called my doctor and they had me go to the emergency room and they found a tumor behind my right eye."

The tumor increased her risk of stroke, and doctors at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center feared it may cause her to lose her sight, so they had to move fast to shrink it.

"It was very scary, I really didn't know how to handle it. I was thinking more about the children than myself," she said.

The good news: the tumor is benign and Western New York's "Wonder Woman" has it under control.

"I go for follow-up MRIs every three months and eye exams. But my vision is still 20/20 and I can still drive my kids all over God's Creation," she said.

So when we asked her what Mother's Day means to her this year, Justin said, "Oh, I'm going to try not to cry! That's a great question because my heart is just so overwhelmed with this great love that I have for my children. It's special this year. A lot more than I think it ever was because for a moment there, I just wasn't sure."