"I'm a survivor" is what these women are all singing! In 2012, cancer was named the #1 killer of Hispanics in the United States. From Adamari Lopez to Sofia Vergara, these 12 inspiring Latinas have all battled and beat cancer, and now they're helping others in the fight:
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1. Adamari Lopez
Adamari Lopez was diagnosed with cancer in 2005 at the age of 33. The Puerto Rican actress was in the middle of planning her wedding when she received the terrifying news. Lopez wrote a book called Thriving in 2012, which was released in English the following year. “I’ve always had a lot of faith in God,” she told us. “I’m a very positive person and I believe that life is worth fighting for.” She also teamed up with Yoplait for the Save Lids to Save Lives campaign.
2. Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 28 and had her thyroid removed. She told ABC Nightline, “You always think, ‘death.’ You don’t -- that’s all you think when they tell you that.” But she didn’t let herself feel defeated, and is cancer free now. She has since been involved in a hypothyroidism campaign.
3. Alejandra de Cima Aldrete
Alejandra de Cima Aldrete is a breast cancer survivor. When she was 30, she felt a lump and went to see her doctor who told her she was too young for it to be cancer. Aldrete insisted on having a mammogram and found out she was right to worry. This philanthropic Mexican now encourages other women to get themselves checked out, and true to her nature, she started a foundation to help other women, too.
4. Lorena Rojas
At 38, Lorena Rojas was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Livestrong Foundation gave this Mexican actress the support she needed. The cancer returned, but recently she shared that the treatment worked. “I’m very aware of what this illness is… it’s a chronic illness, and in my case, as long as I take care of myself and have treatment, I can live a normal life like anyone else,” she said. She’s also fought against the stigma that people with cancer face. She even became a mother in late 2013 after adopting a baby girl.
5. Alejandra Guzman
Alejandra Guzman was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 2007. The Mexican rock star revealed she was scared, but decided to remain positive, especially for her then 15-year-old daughter. In an interview with Hola, she said, “I have a strong desire to live, love, sing, be free, and happy. I don’t care about the material stuff because I enjoy the simple things in life.”
6. Luz Casal
Luz Casal was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and decided to undergo surgery. The second time was in her other breast in 2010, which made her cancel her tour. The Spanish singer kept a positive attitude and told her fans that she knew she was in good hands.
7. Barbara Mori
Actress Barbara Mori was diagnosed with cancer at an early stage. She participated in the documentary 1 a Minute, where she spoke about her experience.
8. Daniela Romo
Daniela Romo was away from the public eye for a little, and when she returned, she shared that she had undergone a mastectomy. The singer and actress joined Tocate, a campaign encouraging women to check for lumps. She was joined by other celebrities, such as Eiza González.
9. Angelica Maria
Angelica Maria was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. The telenovela star told Radio Notas that it’s important to get checkups because it can make all the difference. “You can live to be old. Look at me. I’m here,” she said.
10. Patricia Reyes Spindola
On November 11, 2011, Patricia Reyes Spindola was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn’t say anything to anyone for about half a year, not even her mother, because she didn’t want to worry her. It was detected early, and she is now cancer free. In a video, she explained why she decided to share her story. “I think this is something that must be shared,” she said. “I think that women need to know that the words breast cancer do not mean death.”
11. Ana Maria Polo
Caso Cerrado host Ana Maria Polo had a mastectomy at 46. She became the first Hispanic spokeswoman for Stand Up to Cancer, and she also became a spokeswoman for Liga Contra el Cancer, which brings awareness to Spanish-speaking households. She wrote on the site: “I ask that all the patients that are going through this horrible disease not to EVER lose their faith and hope, because with God’s help and the “League Against Cancer,” their cancer will soon be a CLOSED CASE.”
12. Cecilia Galliano
Cecilia Galliano found out she had ovarian cancer after the birth of her second son. She underwent surgery and now she works to be healthy. Every month she has a checkup to makes sure everything is fine.