Working mother seeks financial aid for special cancer treatment
By Pedro Correa Henry
Special to The Star
Her life consisted of analyzing numbers and data at a medical insurance company. However, her focus changed dramatically once she was diagnosed with metastatic carcinoma back in June 2020.
Now, Yarimel Rodríguez, a 44-year-old working mother, is seeking help to cover her expenses. On Friday she traveled to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to undergo a special cancer treatment and put up a fight against metastatic carcinoma.
According to the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health, metastatic carcinoma, also known as stage IV (4) cancer, is a type of cancer that spreads from where it started to a distant part of the body.
Rodríguez told the STAR she was advised by her doctors to travel to the cancer center in east Texas as no physician has been able to detect the root cause of her ailment.
“I have been tested for everything, even genetic testing, and no primary cause has been found,” she said. “I had my first chemotherapy last summer; after that, I had six more with a prescription.”
“It had results at first, but in the last two sessions in March, some tumors I had detected in my [arm]pit and breast area returned to their original form,” Rodríguez added. “23 radiotherapies later, things remain the same.”
The system and information analyst also said the cancer center has access to experimental treatments that are not available on the island, allowing more tools to determine from where the cancer began to spread.
“People may see me and tell me I don’t look like I have cancer. What is that supposed to look like?” she told the STAR. “I will keep fighting. I have always been strong, no matter what.”
At the moment, Rodríguez said, her focus is to heal, survive and continue watching her 23-year-old son grow up.
“Ever since I have received my diagnosis, I have lived very difficult months filled with so much uncertainty,” she said. “I have had moments of frustration, sadness and exhaustion due to these treatments and studies, but I have also felt hope and love from all the loved ones who surround me.”
At press time, Rodríguez said she will be attending her first medical appointment at the cancer center today, so she did not know then how much the treatments will cost.
However, she said, she would be grateful for any help given that she had to cover the costs of travel and lodging.
Anyone who wishes to make a donation can send money via PayPal at email@example.com, or at ATH Móvil or Zelle at 787-690-9175.