Hello all BeholdBeGold followers! My name is Juanita, I am a young adult and a proud two-time Childhood Cancer Survivor! What do I love??? I love sharing my inspirational story with the world, I love to smile, I love to talk, I love my family and friends, I love to laugh, I love to make others laugh, I love that I speak Spanish and English fluently, I love being an Aquarius, I love to Latin dance, I love building meaningful relationships, I love to turn any negative into a positive, I love to learn new things, I love to challenge myself , I love reading about human development, I love interacting with people of all ages, I love to motivate myself and others, I love to run, I love culture and diversity, I love good coffee, I love God and all the miracles and blessings brought upon my life, I love that at a young age I learned to truly understand one’s value of life, to LOVE LIFE---- Sweet. Delicate. Precious. Life.
I became inspired to be an advocate for Childhood Cancer because I was affected by this life-threatening, life-changing, traumatizing disease twice at a young age. I was diagnosed with pre-B cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on August 28, 2003, at the age of 10 and completed my treatment on April 17, 2006 (or so we thought.) A few months later, on September 15, 2006, my family and I were told that my cancer had come back—I had what’s called a “CNS relapse” or Central Nervous System Relapse of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
Five years of my life, childhood through adolescence, were strictly devoted to going in and out of the hospital. Five years that included a tremendous number of drugs, pills, shots, chemotherapy, radiation, steroids, blood transfusions, spinal taps, EEG’s MRI’s, seizures, a stroke and a state of coma, All devastating memories which deeply affected me socially, emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. These are disturbing experiences for a young child or adolescent to handle and not to mention, cancer is an extremely stressful time for everyone -not only the person undergoing the disease but the whole support network.
What led me to start my advocacy page BeholdBeGold?? Easy- childhood cancer AWARENESS and how we MUST continue to ADVOCATE for this VULNERABLE population AFTER SURVIVORSHIP because after cancer, the battle just keeps on going.
Childhood cancer is also severely underfunded, and many children die everyday. It saddens my heart for them and their families who are left without their precious child here on earth. I am very fortunate and grateful with God and the medical team who treated me and helped me overcome this horrific life-changing disease twice. So, instead of asking questions of why I survived, I spread awareness, I advocate, and I share my miraculous survival story with the world. At the end, that’s what this vulnerable population really needs:
A voice. I am a voice for children with Cancer.
2019, A year of advocacy. The year I said "Behold and Be Gold"
Highlights of significant moments throughout my life (before and after childhood cancer) demonstrating the initiation of BeholdBeGold, and the milestones accomplished and still accomplishing while undergoing the late effects (in my case cognitive late effects) of childhood cancer.