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Inspirational Stories


acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)

On February 19, 2021, I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), both B and T cells, and given six to eight weeks to live. I was 24 years old. I was diagnosed alone in the ER because of COVID-19 protocols and unable to see my family and friends in person for a week or two because of testing, port placements, and biopsies. It was like an earthquake that shook up my life as well as all my loved ones’ lives, and all I wanted was to hug my mom. Before I was diagnosed, I was going to school at Sacramento State University to become an independent living skill teacher and working as a substitute teacher. I went into the ER because I thought I had a cyst in my neck that needed to be drained. It turns out my whole body was covered with cancer which included a mass that collapsed my right lung and was choking my heart.

The treatments I underwent were difficult. Various chemotherapies, spinal taps, radiations, transfusions, etc.  I love helping other people, and because of my cancer, I was able to help others in ways I never imagined. On June 11, 2021, I participated in an experimental treatment at Stanford called Double Car-T cell therapy. It was exciting to be a part of an experimental medical treatment that can help make a change in the world of cancer.

On August 27, 2021, I received a bone marrow transplant from an anonymous donor who was a 10/10 match. Currently, I’m on an experimental chemo, and I am the 26th person to take it but the first in California. Although I have been in and out of remission many times, being a part of these changes in science makes the fight all worth it. 

On October 29, 2022, I was a part of the Sacramento Light The Night (LTN) event put on by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). It was so beautiful to be a part of. Seeing the wall of heroes and all of the beautiful lanterns brought so much hope back into my heart. It was wonderful to see how many people there donated to help make huge changes in people’s lives who are battling cancer. Due to some graft versus host disease in my lung, I was having trouble walking the walk. My family and friends offered to push me to the finish line in my walker, but I kept saying, “I have to prove to myself that I am stronger than my cancer, so I have to walk to the finish line.” LLS helped me prove to myself that I am stronger than my cancer because I made it to the finish line.

Due to my cancer, I won’t have the ability to be a teacher again. But my plan is when I’m medically able, I want to go back to Sacramento State and become a therapist who specializes in patients who are battling cancer and helping students with disabilities in socializing.

TW acute lymphoblast leukemia