CHARLOTTE N.C. (CBS Local) — A North Carolina mother who survived breast cancer will graduate from nursing school with her daughter.

Shonica Jones was the first in her family to graduate from college.

“I was finished and then, of course, my daughter came along and she became a nurse,” Jones told WSOC.

Her daughter, Beniecia Barnett, decided to go back to school at University of North Carolina at Charlotte to pursue a master’s degree in nursing, but she didn’t want to do it alone.

“Even though she felt like she was done with all of her education I still said ‘come on mom, let’s do it’ because I just knew she could it,” Barnett said. “She’s the reason why I went into nursing in the first place.”

The mother-daughter duo have been pursuing their masters together for the past two years, but the path for Jones took an unexpected turn in 2019. She was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

Jones had major surgery to remove both her breasts but stayed in school. She’ll go through treatments for the rest of the year, but she has finished her mastering program in nursing administration, her daughter for nursing education and now they two will graduate together in the coming days.

“I could have quit at any stage. But for me, I just tell anybody whenever they ask me, you’d be amazed at what you can do if you just don’t quit,” Jones said.