So when Virginia called me from Argentina - where she pursuing a PhD in Community Mental Health - to tell me that she had been diagnosed with cervical cancer ( stage 2B Cervical Adenocarcinomacervical) I barely could barely catch my breath before she added: "Maia, I am going to win this!"
I wasn't surprised that she flung herself headfirst into a grueling round of treatment, including 4 sessions of chemotherapy, 25 of radiation, 5 of brachytherapy, as well as 7 blood transfusions - somehow making others around her laugh throughout .
Virginia was all about empowering others via her sensational sense of humor, which always included laughing at herself. Whether clowning with very sick kids in the children's hospital of our hometown of Barquisimeto, taking the stage as a (prize winning) story teller, or counseling students from some of the poorest barrios of our city, Virginia shined like the sun, filling the darkest corners with light.
On Virginia's 31st birthday this past June, she decided to celebrate in style, going through a battery of tests to prove she was cancer free after enduring months of brutal therapies. Only long after the candles were blown out did she inform us that this uninvited visitor - cancer - remained. But once again Virginia beat my response adding, "Maia, this time I'm going for the gold".
Going for the gold means that she has undergoing a modified radical hysterectomy as the best option to say Adios Cancer!
Going for the gold also means raising $2,500 to cover basic expenses for this surgery. Virginia herself is gold, she is sunshine, she radiates optimism, she infuses hope Please join me in helping Virginia to say Adios Cancer!
Virginia remains strong willed and hopeful that this will be her last step to finally beat cancer. Through laughter, many tears and her beautiful drawings Virginia is taking on this battle with so much courage to claim her gold prize: Adios Cancer!