Vesha Shannon
Vesha Shannon
For Vesha Shannon, when life gets overwhelming you still have to keep going.

This mother of three - Antajh, 17, Sabyius, 16, and Shakya, 13, - has battled with a pseudotumor on her brain for over 10 years.

Vesha is the daughter of Jimmy and Sabyna Shannon and the sister to Tashia Shannon Gordan.

She recalled those initial days when she visited numerous doctors to learn more about the illness.

"I ended up with a group at the University of Alabama at Birmingham," she said. "I had my first surgery in March 2007."

Since then, Vesha has had four other surgeries, the most recent on Jan. 10, 2013.

She said the pseudotumor makes her veins dwindle down.

She is still recovering from her most recent surgery.

"I'm OK," Vesha said. "It's something you have to go through."

Despite her health issue, this busy mother has not been deterred, as she plans to complete her master's of art degree for teaching in community college on May 10 at Mississippi State University.

With a concentration on history, she plans to teach and eventually earn her doctorate.

"I'm showing my kids that you have to always get back up," she said, noting her past experience interning at East Central Community College where she taught history.

Despite her loyalty to MSU, her son Antajh, a senior at Philadelphia, plans to attend the University of Mississippi as a political policy major.

He wants to become a lobbyist, she said.

In her free time, Vesha enjoys shopping for shoes and purses.

"It's my weakness," she said.

She loves her newest "no heels shoes" she received from a friend in Atlanta, Ga.

Vesha loves traveling with her kids, especially to Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., a favorite for the family.

"We're also planning a cruise if possible," she said.

When at home, she loves to cook, a pastime handed down from mother to daughter.

"My favorite meal is breakfast," Vesha said.

When a gathering is planned, she likes to make her Famous Buttermilk Pancakes and a ham and cheese omelet.

Shannon's other specialities are pecan pies and her famous sweet cornbread.

"Everyone enjoys my pecan pies," she said. "I add more vanilla than the recipe calls for. It gives it a whole different taste. When you get it out of the oven, you have to immediately put vanilla ice cream on it."

Vesha has shared some of her family favorites.

Sweet Cornbread

1 cup self-rising meal

1/2 cup self-rising flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoon mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees.

In a large black skillet put 1 tablespoon butter or margarine and 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil and place into oven until melted and hot.

Mix all ingredients until smooth in consistency and no lumps.

Take skillet out of oven and pour a little grease into batter and fold in then place in oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

Famous Buttermilk Pancakes

1 1/2 cup self-rising flour (prefer white lily)

1 egg

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup of buttermilk or you can use more until smooth batter and no lumps

Vegetable oil

Mix all ingredients until smooth and no lumps.

Use large non-stick skillet and stove is on medium high.

Pour about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or until oil is around skillet.

Makes 8-12 pancakes. Put butter on pancakes as soon as you take out of skillet and golden brown on both sides, then pour Blackburn syrup on top.

Pecan Pie

2 pie shells (frozen section)

1 cup sugar

1 cup lite Karo syrup

3 eggs (slightly beaten)

1 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons vanilla flavor

1 1/4 cup chopped pecan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix all first 5 ingredients until smooth in consistency with spoon.

Then add pecans and fold in then pour into regular size pie shells.

Cook for about 30-40 minutes until golden brown around pie shells and pecans look good in top of shell.

Serve with scoop vanilla ice cream on top of pie, then drizzle with warm caramel topping.