When Mary Jane was 12 years old, she and Janna were born on the same day, June 18, 1966, at a Catholic hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
The news hit the family hard.
They had to cancel their planned wedding, and Mary Jane had to move back home with her mother.
But she remained committed to her mother and family.
“I was so happy that she had gotten married and she was getting married,” Mary Jane says.
“And then I found out later that they were both alive.”
Mary Jane’s mother, Sister Laura Janaek, remembers that day well.
She was in her 70s, a stay-at-home mom who taught children to read and write.
In 1966, Janaecks husband died.
Janaes children were very small, but they were raised in a strict religious home.
In a family that valued family and devotion, it was impossible to make a life without them.
Janna was the only child, but her mom loved her.
“She taught me how to be the best person I could be,” Janaae says.
Jane’s family says she was an extremely talented writer and she never lost sight of that passion.
Mary Jane knew that, too.
In addition to her writing, Janna excelled in social studies and art.
But Mary Jane wanted her to do more.
“We thought that we needed a career and to be able to support our family,” she says.
In 1969, Mary Jane married her high school sweetheart, John Rolfe, and their first child was born, a son named Daniel, who is now six years old.
But as Janaie says, Jane had other ideas.
“Janae loved to make music,” she recalls.
“Music was what she loved to do.”
In 1970, Jannes youngest son, Daniel, was born and Jane was a full-time stay-away mom.
“The world was full of children,” Janna says.
And she had a hard time letting go of the fact that she couldn’t make the family happy.
“Even though she was a stay home mom, she still had a lot of responsibility on her shoulders,” Jane says.
The family had moved into a small, one-bedroom apartment in St Louis’ West Town.
For much of the 1970s, MaryJane worked full-shift as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital in West Town, helping to care for the sick and the elderly.
Jannys daughter, Maryann, was enrolled in a public school, and her husband was a teacher in the local community.
“But when I got out of high school, I had to make sure that I was able to be a stay at home mom,” Jannies youngest daughter, Jannah, says.
She didn’t have much time to devote to her studies and MaryJane was constantly juggling the demands of her job and her family.
Janes career began to take a turn for the better in the 1980s.
In 1985, she became a volunteer nurse for St. Mary’s Hospital, where she worked in a specialized unit to care in the intensive care unit.
In the late 1990s, Janya started working as a volunteer in the emergency room at St Mary’s.
She is a nurse practitioner and a member of the National Nurses Association.
She has also served on a number of boards, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, the National Association of Neurological Surgeons, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Janyae is the mother of four children: five-year-old son, Matt, and two-year old daughter, Laila.
“In my career, I’ve never been a mom.
It was always like I was the first one to be at home,” Janyaa says.
MaryJane says that her family and friends knew that her career wasn’t going to last forever.
“So many people in my life are trying to make it.
And they’re trying to be successful and they’re doing great things,” she explains.
“It was never going to be an easy thing for me to do, but I never really thought about it in that way.
I never thought about being broke or having to be homeless.”
The first few years of her career were filled with ups and downs.
In 1988, MaryAnn was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“After the surgery, I was pretty much in the hospital for the next few months,” Jannah recalls.
But her mom’s recovery did not take long.
“When she was out of surgery, she came back and said, ‘I think I’m okay.
I can do this,'” Janaas youngest son says.
At the time, she was living with a family in the same house, and Janyia was still paying for her medical expenses.
“That was a blessing,” Jania says.
But, as time went