Back in 2009, The Palm Beach Post published a Mother’s Day feature titled “The Solitary Mom: Three Stories of Love on Mother’s Day.”
One mother featured was Barbara Bregoli, then 41, of Boynton Beach, Florida. The same Barbara Bregoli took her out-of-control teen daughter on “Dr. Phil” in 2016 to get help.
Danielle Bregoli, now 13 but soon to be 14, has risen to Internet stardom, thanks to that first appearance on “Dr. Phil” and to one, five-second statement: “Cash me ousside. How bout dat?”
The “Dr. Phil” episode, which aired in September, showed pictures of happier times for the Bregolis while Dr. Phil tried to pinpoint reasons why the teen may be acting out.
Here is the original story, published around Mother’s Day in 2009:
When Barbara Bregoli discovered a lump in her right breast, it wasn’t the cancer that scared her. It was what would happen to her daughter, Danielle, who was only 4 years old.
Barbara was and still is a single mom.
“I waited my whole life to be a mom, and (I thought) I’m going to lose it?” she said. “I was mad, I was sad, I hated life.”
When Barbara learned she had breast cancer in 2007, she endured 36 long weeks of radiation and took Danielle to the treatments, where she made friends with nurses and learned about the disease.
Danielle helped care for her mom. She rubbed aloe on her chest to soothe the pain from radiation. On nights when Barbara was vomiting in the bathroom, Danielle was there to hold her hair and rub her back.
In their Boynton Beach house, this woman and this mature little girl rely on each other.
“I’m everything. I pay the bills, I fix the house,” says Barbara, 41. “Some days you want to crawl in a hole. I say, ‘Oh my God, this is so overwhelming.’ When I hear married people say, ‘I do it all by myself,’ I get annoyed. They’ve still got a husband. It’s just me and her.”
In late 2007, doctors told Barbara that her cancer was in remission. That was after she was let go from her job as a compliance analyst. Her long-term disability ran out, and she struggles to pay the bills.
She says she’s still not well enough to return to work. Right now she’s trying to obtain Social Security disability insurance while receiving child support and financial help from her family.
Barbara will spend today with her daughter and her own mother as well. She will celebrate single mothers everywhere because, she says, they are special women who always deserve praise.
“Sometimes you think you are alone, but there are a bunch of moms like me out there who should be recognized,” Barbara says. “It’s hard being on your own. A dad is a dad, but a mom is the one who gives birth to the child. She nurtures that child. You’re a mom for life. That never changes.”