Here is a story from CURE community member Jazamine:
Good evening ladies and gentleman, my name is Jazmine Ramos, and I am 14 years old. I want to say how honored I am and would like to say “Thank You” for allowing me to join you today to share my story.
Most people find that there has always been that day or week or year in your life where something bizarre happened. Where you look back and can’t believe the experience! Or that one week or day had something for you to look forward to. But, there were also those times when tragedy struck or you (knowingly or unknowingly) experienced something that changed a life forever or even ended it. I’ve learned that part of life is to dream about the times we succeed and fear the times we lose. And I’ve learned that there is the “day before.” The “day before” is the day you wish you could go back to before everything changed.
On January 5th 2009 I got diagnosed with Osteosarcoma which is a type of bone cancer in my left knee. On this day my life was changed forever.. I was a competitive dancer that had a dream of winning Miss Dance of Arizona, but unfortunately that dream was forced to change and at least remain on-hold indefinitely. I was immediately admitted to Phoenix Children’s Hospital for testing, to see if the cancer spread all over my body, but incredibly it hadn’t spread.
Then the Fight began on Jan. 7th 2009 that was the day Chemotherapy Started…
The battle was tough and long. I had chemo every other week. I lost all my hair and most of friends and especially my dream of being a dancer. I lost all of those things and I even lost some of my faith. I was on an emotional roller coaster ride – sad and scared about what would come at each new day.
I finally had my big surgery on March 25th 2009. They remove the Cancer that was in my left tibia and replaced it with a brand new knee and extension. It was scary at night when I had nightmares because of how much medicine I was put on. I always kept my feelings and thoughts to myself during the beginning. Sometimes I would sit in my hospital bed hoping for superman to rescue me. But, I knew that I couldn’t just walk out and never come back. I knew I had to face it one way or another. I’m not the type of girl that tells everyone that my battle was tough. The truth behind my every day smile is the pain and the girl who got beaten down. I was a fragile flower that died and grew even more beautiful after the storm.
The highlight of my journey was the day chemo therapy ended. September 28th
2009 I got to celebrate! But, there was something even better to celebrate…December 3rd 2009! That was the day they finally called me cancer-free!
Since everything has happened I have had some ups down. Not a day goes by that I don’t fear of the “what if’s ” “what if” the cancer comes back. But I am so blessed to have the strength and courage from my family and friends and especially god. Of course I can’t say it’s the end of the road but, I see each day as a blessing that I am still here.
I will always be grateful for the incredible staff who made me feel as close to home as they could – who always came to me and made me feel good…even when I couldn’t get out of bed. Especially Elaine Falkner who encouraged me to be an artist and now my artwork is featured on PCH holiday cards! – Drawing helped me get through some of those horrible days of chemotherapy. Also I would like to thank Bill Rogers who made a special visit to PCH just to say hello to the Artist of one of those Christmas Cards “ME”. I am also a part of the Children’s Advisory Board at PCH so now I can help to inspire others to stay strong through those tough days.
As I look back through my battle, 3 people where always there. My mom, my oldest sister, and my dad. They are my true heroes.
So many wonderful things have come out of it. I have gone on trips with other survivors and had some great opportunities thrown my way! Even being here tonight and sharing my story it is now one of my greatest joys! I think everyday about what I went through. No one’s knows how I felt, no one knows the pain I went through but everyone knows I am “Here” and I now can call myself a “SURVIVOR”.