I moved to America with my family when I was 10 years old. Five months after we arrived I was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma. Not knowing English made it very difficult for me and my family. The doctors did their best to explain everything they were going to do through a translator; however something always gets missed. My amputation was in March of 1986 and one week later they found a large metastasize in my right lung. They went back in for surgery and removed the metastasize in my lung. Despite the early prognosis being not very good – they did their best with everything. I was given heavy rounds of doxorubicin and cisplatin. I remember having to be checked into the hospital every time I needed this treatment. I felt like this treatment lasted forever, but I remember my last dose was given to me around Labor Day. I was able to find a cancer camp called Special Love and that’s where I first began to feel normal again.
I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy in 1991, which was caused by the doxorubicin that was given to me for osteosarcoma, and I was put on medicine for this issue. In May 2013, the cardiomyopathy caused me to go in to cardiac arrest. I was dead for 15 minutes and was placed in a medical coma for 3 days. I received a new heart on August 4, 2015.
Throughout my life, I have tried to live as normal as possible. I competed on my high school swim team, learned to ski with three
tracking, and I love doing all types of sports. Through all of this I have maintained a positive outlook on life and cancer has made me a better person.
I am so blessed by God to be given so many chances at life. I am doing my best to pass my knowledge along, and to share my story because a lot of others have lost their lives to this horrible disease. I am a survivor and live my life to the fullest. I love the MIB and hope my story will help others.