DALLAS -- Ten years of battling breast cancer might drive anyone crazy, but not Vaniessa Cousin.

She sings on the way to her radiation treatments.

Vaniessa has spent so much time at the cancer center in Jackson, Mississippi that the staff has become her family. She's undergone months of chemo therapy and radiation treatments through two bouts of cancer -- she's now fighting her third.

Lord, every morning that I open my eyelids is a good day, she said.

In 2003, Vaniessa - a single mother of two boys - learned she had breast cancer, just like her mother, grandmother, and aunts.

I thought I was going to die. That's what I thought, she said. I thought OK, Lord, this is it.

There were times she was so sick, she couldn't walk and that's when she found strength in her songs.

When I was backed up in the corner and didn't know what I was going to do, God gave me these words, Vaniessa said.

She kept the songs in a secret hiding place.

To me, they were just safe keeping, tucked under my mattress, she said.

They sat there for 10 years, until September, when her sister, who lives in Dallas, mentioned to Vaniessa she had a dream about something under her bed. Vaniessa said knew the dream was about her songs, Nobody can tell me any different.

Vaniessa's sister introduced her to Melani Ismael, a singer and song writer who is the wife of former Dallas Cowboys great, Rocket Ismael.

She had this huge, booming voice, and coming from this very deep place, Ismael said.

Moved and touched by her testimony and music, Melani introduced Vaniessa to Pat Smith, Emmitt Smith's wife.

There was something special -- so super special about her, and I just knew it, Smith said.

Pat lost her mother, Paige, to breast cancer 20 years ago.

She fought as hard as she could, be she lost her fight, Smith said.

Every year, Pat chooses a woman to honor and give an award named after her mother to. This year, she chose Vaniessa.

I love honoring women who have her spirit, her tenacity, her fight, Smith said.

Together, Melani and Pat have helped Vaniessa record her first single, which will be released any day now.

I know it's going to be special, Ismael said. I know it's going to bless so many families, so many people.

Vaniessa grew up with country star Faith Hill and they often performed at school together.

Faith went on to great fame. Vaniessa's journey was much different.

But she says it's now her time.

Her first single is called Open Arms.

You can't do anything but open it up, open your arms, Vaniessa said. Let God in and give it to him.

Vaniessa is still undergoing radiation treatments, but said she already knows she is going to beat cancer again.


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