What we gain most from being Division One collegiate athletes are the everlasting relationships. These relationships are forged during and through our years of growth, struggle, sweat, tears and laughter and hard work. Our cross-country team at Sacramento State was and still is especially close. We ran together, we lived together, we ate together and some of us even ended up together. Being able to be a part of something like that lasts so much longer than any PR’s or records. It means so much more. When one of us bleeds, we all bleed.
Amanda-panda, Amanda-please, Mandy, Amandahugandkiss, Amandazing is just a few of the names that we all call this little lovely lady. We all know her for being a fighter, a calm and quiet lighting bolt. We all have our own special memories with her because she’s the kind of friend that makes you feel special. She listens to your every word and always wants to know what’s going on in your life because she’s geniunely interested. I could go on about how amazing she is but I know you all know. She’s positively radiant.
Life is so unpredictable, the good, the bad and the ugly. Most of you know that after college, Amanda moved to Chicago to work for Merieux NutriSciences. In just a short 3 years with the company, she was promoted to a solo account management position that moved her back to warm, sunny California this past July. A few weeks in to being back around family and friends she was not feeling well. She admitted herself to the hospital for what she thought might be pneumonia. What she found out was that she has a cancerous mass on her lung. The doctors are working on an exact diagnosis. They know that the cancer has also presented itself in both of her ovaries and they know that it is aggressive, but not as aggressive as Amanda. She has already been through one round of chemo; Amanda has begun her fight.
The one thing we all know about Amanda is that she is tough. Without going in to too much personal details, Amanda, Dan and her family have been between and back and forth from Emmanuel Hospital in Turlock, Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto and home in Atwater. One thing we also all know about hospitals is that they are expensive. We are starting this go fund me to use the power, support and love of teammates, friends and family to help raise money for Amanda and her family. Please feel free to give as much or as little as you are able. We know that everyone is in different places in their lives and going through different things of their own; her family is extremely humbled by and appreciative of each and every one of your donations.
Cancer sucks. This is going to be tough to hear. Everything happened so fast. This unexpected, rare and aggressive and undiagnosed cancer took our Amanda, but not without a fight. Our little fighter fought her way fiercely all the way to the end. These words were her last and filled with so much love. Surrounded by the friends and family that she brought together with all of her compassion and strength, Amanda left us on Friday, October 5th at 8:13 am. May her sweet, old soul rest in peace.
“I love you guys very very much. I still don’t understand about this way of leaving as a way of leaving this earth but thank you for everything. Thank you and love you. Love you for everything!!! Love you!!!”
She he also wanted to make sure that this go fund me would raise enough money so that her mom, Olga Garcia, does not have to worry about any of her medical bills. With Amanda and her family’s wishes, we have decided to share this post with everyone. Please be respectful of the family during this time of mourning.