Patricia Garcia, 25, has the soul of a survivor. The Mexican newlywed from California was diagnosed with a rare type of tumor that is effecting her lungs and heart. She is currently treating her three-malignant thymoma at the USC Hospital in Los Angeles. As treatment expenses continue to mount, her family launched a Give Forward campaign to help with medical costs.
Learn more about her inspiring story and show your support.
How did you discover that you have this rare type of cancer?
"I started getting really bad chest pain. I couldn’t walk and I would sweat heavily for no reason. I just kept thinking, ‘Something has to be wrong.’ I went to the doctor and they realized by heart was palpitating really fast. They ran tests, but it took a while for them to figure out what was wrong. After more tests they ended up finding a mass tumor on the right side of my heart, leaning on my right lung. They said the cancer is at stage-three. I start chemotherapy this week."
What was your family’s reaction when they found out?
"I’m 25, so no one expected this, including myself. It was so shocking, especially to my mom. I’m the only girl so she’s still trying to accept it. We are just going to fight this and survive."
With everything that you have been through, where do you get your strength?
"I get my strength from my family and loved ones. It’s really incredible to see how many people have come out to support me. That’s what makes me strong, because if I survive this then others around me will share that strength too."
You also recently got married, how has your partner supported you through all this?
"She has been amazing. It has been hard. I had to stop working and she works two jobs and makes sure to take care of me. She has been great. She’s perfect."
What do you hope people learn from your story?
"You have to be your own advocate. You have to be sure that you are getting the proper healthcare. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There have been so many times that one doctor says one thing and then they change the diagnosis, so I pushed for more tests and more results. This is what I hope saves me in the end."
Do you know an inspiring young Latina? If so, email us at InspiringLatinas@Latina.com!