My name is Rachel Layer and my sweet mom Carol Layer lost her nine year battle with oral cancer in August of 2011. Even through the hardest and worst days of her battle my mom never stopped fighting. I'm proud to keep her fight going and do everything I can to raise awareness of oral cancer and hopefully prevent others from enduring the same nightmare that my mom went through. My mom was a loving, caring and feisty Italian from Little Italy. People often told my mom that she resembled Sophia Loren. While her beauty was apparent, her quick wit and laugh are what I ache for today. When oral cancer took her ability to speak, she was able to convey her keen sense of humor through her expressive eyes that were quick to wink, widen or roll given the situation. Even when she was suffering more than we ever imagined possible, her sense of humor and fight to live did not diminish. When my mom was healthy you could often find her with a dunkin donuts coffee in her hand, walking her dog Cody (that she viewed as her third child) and a smile on her face. My mom had a wide variety of friends that fell into all facets of political, religious and ethnic backgrounds that she loved equally and deeply. Her own faith was at the cornerstone of her heart and helped her through many of the struggles that this horrible disease forced her to endure. While my mom's faith was essential to her, she never criticized or judged others on their beliefs, religion, preferences or lack of faith. I was blessed to have a mother that exuded such a tolerance, acceptance and genuine love of all people. While the pain in my heart from losing my mom and knowing the agony she faced is forever present, the pride and gratitude I have in calling her my mom eases the hurt and replaces it with a desire to live a life of joy, vigor and passion.