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'She’s a queen' | Woman hits gym in order to do what's necessary to take care of daughter

Elena was born with cancer that left her paralyzed from the waist down. That hasn't stopped her mother, Juliet, from doing everything she can to take care of her.

HOUSTON — All of us have a different reason to go to a gym, but at a Life Time fitness in west Houston, Juliet Porras understands her purpose thanks to a young lady she’s fortunate enough to call her daughter.

“I couldn’t be more proud of who she is,” Juliet said. “She shows me how to live every single day.”

Their story starts 15 years ago. Her daughter Elena was born with Stage 3 Neuroblastoma. It's cancer that left her paralyzed from the waist down.

“In the early days, you go into mom mode. That adrenaline is going because I don’t think anyone really knows how to get through their child having cancer,” Juliet said. “Especially when their newborn is getting chemo before they even have breastmilk. If you try to see the whole picture, it can swallow you, especially as a parent.”

As Elena grew older, naturally she got heavier. The things Juliet did to help her daughter got harder.

“A few years ago, I went to lift her ... she was probably 90 pounds and it was a struggle for me,” Juliet said.

That’s when her transformation started. Juliet started working out with the goal of adding more strength, not just losing weight. Juliet can now lift her daughter and take care of the daily things that are needed of her to make sure Elena is OK.

“She’s strong,” Elena said. “She doesn’t take crap from nobody.”

But neither does Elena, who has joined her mom at the gym. They work out together every week.

“She does it with a smile on her face,” Juliet said. “She wants to do it and she’s grateful for the experience to do it.”

Luckily for Elena, she’s got a pretty great person to emulate, too.

“She’s amazing,” Elena said. “She’s a queen. She does everything and deserves way more. I love her.”

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