Fight Like a Girl… Tonja Harden-Shellman

Please join WhenUPray this month as we feature testimonies from women that have been diagnosed with Cancer. This week guest is Tonja. We love her so much. She doesn’t even know that her strength and fight during this time encourages us with the little things we are dealing with. She still encourage others and constantly has a smile on her face. She’s so dope!!  Please read and understand what she is going through and how she is Fighting Like a Girl throughout this test. With God on her side she is UNSTOPPABLE!!!!โค๏ธ๐ŸŽ€

My name is Tonja Shellman. Many of you may know me as Tonja Harden or Tonja Rison. In December I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have been openly sharing my story with the world because I see it as an opportunity to encourage and inspire others who are faced with with this awful disease. So many people look at it as a death sentence. I don’t. I look at it as God’s way of telling me I’m no different than anyone else. Why me? Why NOT me? He has given me a platform to share my story and show others how to hold your head high, not be ashamed, and face adversity with dignity and grace. Through this journey my faith has been tested and strengthened. There is no greater love than the love of God, family and true friends. I have encountered some AMAZING ppl along the way…from the doctors & nurses at Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, to my awesome church family at First Community Baptist Church in Detroit. They have been a solid force in my life, encouraging me every step of the way. There is a special person that I’d like to give recognition to. My sister Minetta. Every person going through a serious illness should have someone who is willing to give of themselves unselfishly, who is willing to sacrifice everything for the well-being of their loved one. Minetta has been right by my side EVERY step of the way…from the moment I was diagnosed. I owe her so much! She travels to every chemo appt takes notes, keeps the rest of the family abreast of everything, and is just my overall biggest supporter. I say all this to say cancer does not have to be a death sentence. 80% of it is attitude. The battle is not yours, it’s the Lord’s! Pray, meditate, and cast your cares upon the Lord. He promises to carry you in your time of need. You just have to have the FAITH…don’t believe me just watch! I’ll see you at the end of this journey walking in the breast cancer walk in October suited and booted with my SURVIVOR gear on. ๐Ÿ˜ Be blessed Saints! ๐Ÿ˜˜โค๐Ÿ˜IMG_0622

34 responses to “Fight Like a Girl… Tonja Harden-Shellman”

  1. Minetta Lusane Avatar
    Minetta Lusane

    You give me so much inspiration my darling little sister. I admire your tenacity & spirit throughout this experience. I honestly can’t imagine any where I’d rather be than right by your side throughout this battle. It has opened my eyes to a lot of things that I took for granted. I love you & if GOD is willing I will be there for the duration. I love you Baby Sis,

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      I love you so much more my loving sister. I honestly don’t know how I could make it through this without you. We both are blessed children of God, and I know He’ll carry us through. Stay faithful sis!

  2. Patricia Gaither Avatar
    Patricia Gaither

    First of all I say I support you far and near. You are a true survivor and your spirit in this time is amazing. I have know you since the Jefferson days. No we never hung out but through Facebook I have gotten to know you and your spirit so much more. You show so much love in this time of life. I always considered cancer a death sentence. I’ve lost so many family and friends to this disease and you have taken it to a different level. You are 1,000,000% correct it is about attitude and true family and friends to support you throughout. People that I knew that died were not diagnosed in the very beginning it was somewhere in the middle and maybe even closer to the end. You have such a spirited attitude that you can not help but love and support you. You just put me in a different attitude about life in general. I thank you for bring who you are and I will totally support you from someone you can lean on, scream at, cry to anything you need.

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Thank you my beautiful sister from “the hood”. You have been a constant support throughout my fight, and I’m truly grateful. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends who pray for me and encourage me daily. Please continue as I NEED your support. Love you.

  3. Tonja keep fighting and i will keep praying GOD will see you thought strong woman that you are.

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Thank you Marvin!!! โค

  4. Juanita Crump Avatar
    Juanita Crump

    Tonja I have known you since you were a little girl. I am not surprised at your strength. Your were “Daddys’ girls but you all grew up to be awesome “women” and although you are fighting like a girl, I see you as battling like a woman. Rejoicing with you in the victory which is already won.

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      AMEN Ms. Juanita! You have always been a constant spiritual force in our lives, and I appreciate you for it. I know it’s because of strong spirit filled warriors like you, and my faith in God that keep me going. God bless you! Love you.

  5. Tonja, you don’t know how very proud of you I am sweetie for being such an inspiration for us all!! I know a little bit about what you’re going thru because of Dad and Sheila; they were pretty awesome too! With your strong belief in God and sweet spirit, you’ll come thru this with flying colors!! I love you Ton-Ton and am there for you always!! Minetta, I know there is no where else you could be but by her side…Love my cousins! Glo- Glo

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Love you cousin!!! Thank you so much for you prayers, love, and encouragement! WE ARE HARDENS, WE ARE WARRIORS!!!

  6. Tonya I was not aware of your situation until you befriended me last week on Facebook . My prayers are with you and your family but even more, it takes strength and faith to publicize your situation. Your story will be a awareness to everyone and as you quoted “80% of this is attitude”. May god bless you,

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      God bless you my friend. Please keep me in your prayers. โค

  7. Argie Williams Avatar
    Argie Williams

    Keep on fighting like a girl beautiful.. Stay strong… Be encouraged๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’“

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Yes ma’am! I plan on it! Thank you my friend! โค

  8. […] Source: Fight Like a Girl… Tonja Harden-Shellman […]

  9. Toyna even though we haven’t communicated very much over the years I just want to say to you my favorite saying is Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus!!!!

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      AAAAAAMEN!!! He is my source, strength, my EVERYTHING…I owe it all to HIM!!!

  10. Sheena (Harden) Manuel Avatar
    Sheena (Harden) Manuel

    Hey baby sis! I have said from the very beginning of this journey, if anyone could tackle this like a soldier, out of the four of us, it would be YOU!! You are wonderfully and beautifully made, and God knows you personally, from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. He’s got this! We will learn the lessons we need to during this fight, and be there for you unconditionally!! Minetta your physical presence at every appointment and updates to the sisters is SO MUCH appreciated. You are a sweetheart!! My heart is truly overwhelmed by all who care, send prayers up on Tonja’s behalf, and wish our family the best. Much Love, Sheena๐Ÿ’ž

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Awwwww sis I love you so much, and I know if you could be there physically at all my appts you would be. Your love, support, prayers, and encouragement speaks volumes. I have THEE best family EVER!!! Love you to life, and I look forward to spending many more years on this earth celebrating it…with y’all!!!

  11. Cynthia Williams Avatar
    Cynthia Williams


    You are one of the strongest, God-fearing woman I know. Your strength and inner beauty is far greater than your outer beauty. You smile and the words you speak encourage, lift, and bring joy to anyone in earshot of you. I know God has you in His Bosom. Your current testimony will be nothing by the time this is over. You have survived much and the Testimony you will deliver at the end of this trial is going to bless and witness to the world. I love you and am praying with you.

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      AMEN my sister, I plan to shout it to the world! MY GOD IS AWESOME, and He is allowing me to testify to that! I thank you for your prayers, love and inspiration on my journey. Love you so much!!!

  12. I was diagnosed with breast cancer Nov 15 of 2015 my son was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2014 I am not afraid of cancer my thing is just Jesus when he get ready for me I am going anyway man do not know the time or day we are leaving here I tell my son don’t claim death over life u got to have faith and believe in God words I thank all my church family for been there for me Michelle Bryant took off work to take me for my first surgery my big sister in Christ took me for my second surgery my sons have been there for me my pastor Daniel Smith cancer is just like any other sickness or accident trust in Jesus he will carry u through I want to thank everyone who has supported me and my son keep us in your prayers as we journey through this together and Evergreen missionary Baptist church family love to everyone be encouraged and blessed Roberta flowers

    1. Tonja Shellman Avatar
      Tonja Shellman

      Amen Sister Roberta! Keep the faith…like you said we know not the day nor the hour, we just have to have faith that He will carry us in our time of need. Be encouraged and stay blessed!

    2. Roberta, would you be willing to send me your story so we can celebrate you as well? Send it to Feel free to share whatever you would like to about your experience to help someone else get through. It will not be edited in any way. What you send me is what I post. We need to hear your story. I look toward to hearing from you, please don’t hesitate to call me 710-625-0478 if you have any questions,Sheveze

  13. Denise Earnest Avatar
    Denise Earnest

    Tonja: I just want to say GOD got this situation under control and with your beautiful spirit you can’t help but to win. You will be a living Testimony for many. God continue to Bless you and your family.

  14. Tonja, couldn’t just scroll past your post. Continue to be encouraged cause Gods gon work it out f0r you. You have a great support group and thats so important. By his strips we are healed. Through prayer I will match my faith with yours until the healing is manifested. One can put a thousand to flight, two can send a legion fleeing.

  15. Sherri Jordan Avatar
    Sherri Jordan

    Wow, beautiful Tonja! That was powerful. I’ll say it again, you are the strongest person I know. What is amazing is that you have been upbeat and pleasant throughout this entire ordeal. You are definitely a role model for staying strong through adversity. So glad we’ve got a rock in our family (Netta) that’s always there when you need her. Minetta, we love and appreciate you and Tonja you’re amazing!! Love my sisters!!

  16. Gina Franklin Meeking Avatar
    Gina Franklin Meeking

    ๐Ÿ™๐ŸผHello Tonya Jesus said “Where there are 2 of 3 gathered together in my name there I will be in the mist of them.” I am praying & keeping you lifted up. He also said “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you. God is good all the time. He said I will never leave you nor forsake you. God is bigger than any situation we face. Just trust and believe in Him. Your friend in Christ Jesus.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ

  17. Tonya, my sister. I truly admire your strength and the way that you’re reaching out to the world in sharing your wisdom and gaving hope to other cancer survivors. I have been keeping you in my PRAYERS every single day , and night even between. You may not remember me, but I remember you through my Uncle Dock. We visit your family store regularly. Your family is my family. You’re a big inspiration to many far and near, and for that I highly PRAISE YOU. Sending PRAYERS UP. LOVE YOU SISSY.

  18. Anthon (ANTLEW) Lewis Avatar
    Anthon (ANTLEW) Lewis


  19. Tamitha Taylor Avatar
    Tamitha Taylor

    Good morning Tonja, I love ur fighting spirit!! I agree mental attitude and ur spirituality plays a major part in any recovery!! I love that u have made a platform that lets others know they r not alone!! Yes u have cancer but cancer doesn’t have u!! thats what my mom always said!! I admire ur courageous attitude. I can’t pretend to know what ur going through but u r doing it with such grace and dignity!! Ur beauty within is shining outwardly!! Continue to b an inspiration!! I praise God for u!! Nothing like a fight that a girl can’t win!!! Love u!!!

  20. Monica Talley-Greene Avatar
    Monica Talley-Greene

    Tonja, I’m so glad you had an opportunity to share your story. You are a beautiful amazing woman and truly an inspiration to us all. Your positive attitude is motivating and a great example to all. I know you have and will continue to touch the lives and hearts of others during your journey. It is truly a blessing to know you and be your sister friend. Love you!

  21. Tonja, I so proud of you for sharing your story. I to shared my story of being diagnosed with Breaston Cancer, in 2013, but before that I share my mother’s story. I was so blessed to be able to stand with her in her fight, I never say she loss her battle because she didn’t she won the great battle and Satan loss she is sitting at the right hand of our Heavenly Father, and for that I’m great full. I don’t know what you have endured, but I had to have the Brac 1 and 2 test done to see if I had the same gene of cancer my mother had, I didn’t have it but I was told it would come back, the devil is a liar, one of my scriptures I stand on is “I can’t do all things through Chist who strengthen me” Philippines 4:13. I had to have, surgery, 4 Chemo Treatments, and 32 radiation treatments, I loss all my hair. I thank God every day for my husband, daughter, other family members, friends and Bishop Knox and the Ebenezer Church Family. I know you will get through this battle because of your faith my God Bless you my sister I love you, your sister in the fight!

  22. Lol, please forgive all the mistakes. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthen Me”!

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