Exercising was Maria’s favorite pastime. She liked to feel strong, and stay fit. Her job as a housekeeper kept her active, too.
One day, she hurt her knee during a particularly tough workout session. Hematomas appeared on and around her knee two days later. Walking became extremely painful. “I thought it was a muscle tear,” thought Maria. Nothing a few weeks of rest could not make better… Until the pain persisted and grew in intensity.
One month later, Maria visited her doctor to get an X-ray test. The results required an MRI. Those results got her a referral to oncologist Dr. Lee Drinkard at the DHR Health Advanced Care Center. Doctor Drinkard treats all cancers including hematological disorders and benign disease. Maria was anxious for that appointment.
But she had to miss it. An unfortunate fall landed her at the hospital. Surgery was required for her fractured leg. Her oncologist appointment had to be postponed, but Maria pushed through the pain to see Dr. Drinkard as soon as possible. And she did, two weeks later.
The diagnosis was sarcoma: a type of cancer that can occur in various locations in the body, starting in the bones and in the soft tissue. Not only was her knee of concern — a one inch tumor was found in her brain.
“I will fight my hardest to overcome this disease,” says Maria. She does not want to miss a moment in the lives of her son, daughter, and grandchildren. Reina, her sister, has been her side all this time. Maria has a strong family unit that drives her desire to win this fight.
With assistance from the Renaissance Cancer Foundation, ten sessions of radiation therapy await Maria at the Advanced Care Center. Radiation treatment will be led by Dr. Oscar Garcia, a radiation oncology specialist with more than 35 years of experience in the field.
“I don’t know what I would have done without help from the Foundation, not knowing how long I would have to wait to start treatment,” she shared. “I have been given hope, a chance to live; blessed be everyone that donates to help patients like me.”
Keep up the good fight, Maria! We wish you a full recovery!
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