Supporting Socorro’s Fighting Spirit
Two months ago, Socorro Flores was diagnosed with Endometrial cancer and will undergo surgery on January 9th, 2019. As a full-time machine operator of 27 years, she’s on an arduous path of juggling the demands of family, full-time work, evening college classes and, now, the life-altering intrusion of cancer. As her Critical Thinking instructor at BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) this past fall semester, it was clear, at 45, that she was highly motivated to change her career and life, as the professionalism of her classroom engagement suggested.
I wasn’t aware of her condition until she shared it with me six weeks before the fall semester ended. She informed me to let me know why I might notice her body shaking occasionally in class from the strong side effects of her medication. She also let me know that she was determined to finish the semester strong. She certainly did.
I know Socorro as an extremely hard-working student who remains popular among her classmates. We all admire her strong work ethic, kindness, devotion to family and taking college classes in the evening to walk steadily on a path of transformation. Despite being sick throughout the semester, she never complained or missed any work even though that would have been understandable if she had. After she allowed me to share her condition with the other students, her presence in class imbued us with some of her strength. With her quiet and forceful perseverance, she gave us a far more inspiring and profound lesson than any I was able to provide.
She also shared with me that three months before she was diagnosed with cancer, she was suffering from pain and bleeding. She postponed going to the doctor because of the demands of work, school, family and the consuming fear that something was seriously wrong and that she didn’t have health insurance to cover even one doctor’s visit. She recognizes that waiting to be checked out was a mistake, though certainly an understandable one. Socorro suffered unnecessarily and she feels that sharing this aspect of her story might encourage other women with similar symptoms to get checked out immediately, however fearful an experience that might be.
Socorro has been taking medication to help prevent the cancer from spreading. Even though the side effects are debilitating and she faces an undetermined amount of recovery time after surgery, she remains determined to continue with her studies to eventually become a radiologist. I foresee her practicing this profession with compassion and confidence.
She couldn’t schedule her upcoming surgery until she qualified for Obamacare on January 1st, 2019. She will have the surgery on January 9th, but it will leave her and her family financially burdened as she recovers her strength to be able to return to work full time.
All donations go directly to Socorro and will be applied towards:
-the cost of the surgery that is not fully covered by her health insurance
-half the cost of her medication; the other half is covered by her health insurance
-food; because she hasn't been able to work full time recently, it has become a challenge for her to cover the full cost of her food bills for her family.
Thank you so much for finding room in your heart to help support Socorro. Please help spread the word!