The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students share stories of cancer experiences, loss

By Ashley Subphamitra/reporter

Andrea Brown
Andrea Brown

Cancer: It’s a disease that does not discriminate and has at one time or another impacted most lives in one way. One of the most common, breast cancer, takes on average more than 39,600 lives each year. But with the fallen also come the fighters. October is dedicated to both of these people.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month not only gathers the people who have been impacted by the disease but the crowd fighting to find a cure.

When he was 6, TCC graduate and pharmacist E.J. Cervantes’ mother was diagnosed with Stage One breast cancer. Cervantes, a medical professional of five years, has studied numerous cancers and their effects on the body. Although he was young, Cervantes still vividly remembers his mother’s three years of treatment and change in appearance.

“I was unaware at the time of how threatening [the disease] really was,” he said. “It wasn’t until I studied medicine that I realized how serious cancer is.”

Cervantes said cancer affects more than the body.

“It changes life in general, not only by a medical standpoint,” he said. “Luckily, my mother is a survivor.”

Kelsey Beane was not so fortunate. While a student at TCC, Beane had her own experience with breast cancer through the death of her great-grandmother, Gaga.

“Losing her was rough because she was very active in my childhood,” Beane said. “I had to go through the process of watching my grandmother lose her mom.”

Although Beane lost her great-grandmother, she still thinks about her often.

“Gaga was a crazy old woman with a feisty attitude who loved to argue,” she said. “The way I coped was telling all the funny stories of the wild time I had with her.”

Some remember their loved ones with laughter, others with blood, sweat and hard work. Approximately 1.8 million people, including former TCC student Andrea Brown, decided to do that very thing — participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, currently the largest breast cancer-funding event in the United States.

“I chose to do the Susan G. Komen walk because I wanted to be a part of change and help in finding a cure the only way I knew how,” said Brown, a four-time race walker.

Brown described what dedicating her body to find a cure entails.

“I have walked approximately 240 miles, but that does not count the hundreds upon hundreds of miles that I did while training,” she said.

Between raising hundreds of dollars, all of which was donated to breast cancer research, Brown said she now feels as though she has made a change for the better.

“I’ve had friends and family affected by breast cancer and even my own grandmother,” she said. “I watched her go through a very tough time, and I hope to never see pain or heartache like that again. That is why I walk for the cure.”

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