LDS Cancer Survivor Named Hawaii’s Young Mother of the Year

Contributed By Abby Jennings, Church News staff writer

  • 29 June 2015

Laurie Horita and her husband, Josh, with their children, from left: Asialyn, 8; Ellie Emma, 6; Logan, 12; and Hyrum James, 10.  Courtesy of Laurie Horita.

Article Highlights

  • In 2013 Laurie was diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • She was inspired to not only endure her trials but to endure them well.
  • She is now cancer free and adores her four children and husband.

“Trials are going to come, and it’s so important that we just stand strong and tall as opposed to shrinking away.” —Laurie Horita, 2015 Young Mother of the Year for Hawaii

PEARL CITY, HAWAII

Earlier this year, American Mothers Inc. named Laurie Horita the 2015 Young Mother of the Year for Hawaii. Sister Horita, daughter of Kimo and Toni Fuller, grew up in a loving home with four sisters.

“You know that phrase ‘It takes a village’? It’s really true in Hawaii,” she said. Born and raised in Pearl City, Hawaii, she credits her own mothering style to the many examples she grew up around. “I’ve been inspired by so many mothers around me that I look up to that have helped inspire who I am as a mom.”

At age 12, she was baptized into the Church along with her mother and her youngest sister. Missionaries taught the family over a period of four years.

She met her future husband, Josh, while attending Church youth activities, and they dated in high school. When he left on a mission, she decided to serve one too. Before she left to serve in Ogden, Utah, her father was baptized. After completing her mission in 2002, she was sealed to her parents in the Laie Hawaii Temple. A few months later, she and her high school sweetheart married in the temple.

Brother and Sister Horita have four children, two boys and two girls. She enjoys seeing the influence she has on her children and the influence they have on her. “They make me want to be a better person, a better mom, a better friend, and a better daughter. I see how they make me better,” she said.

Sad news came in 2013 when Sister Horita was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It was difficult,” she said. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments to remove the cancer. “One thing I found going through this was that Heavenly Father knew me individually. He knew what I was capable of.”

During this trial, she came across a talk given by Elder David A. Bednar at a CES devotional in March 2013, “That We Might ‘Not … Shrink.’” He spoke of Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s battle with cancer and the lesson he learned from it. The words of Elder Maxwell, “Not shrinking is more important than surviving,” resonated with Sister Horita.

“Trials are going to come, and it’s so important that we just stand strong and tall as opposed to shrinking away,” she said. With the support and love of her husband and children, she decided to use her cancer experience “as an example for others to be able to endure, not only whatever trials they were going through, but just to endure this life well.”

Now cancer free, Sister Horita is grateful for her family and enjoys keeping up with her children’s busy schedules. From Boy Scout meetings to dance classes, Sister Horita and her husband try to stay involved in their lives and enjoy supporting them in their activities.

“I just adore my children,” she said.