Lili Rodriguez

Lili RodriguezOn December 23, 2008, at the age of 30 I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). When the doctor told me, I would not return to work I cried. I am a teacher and teaching for me is a calling. I love my students. Throughout my treatment when I could, I would go to work. I had treatment every twenty-one days. I wore a mask and I let my students see my beautiful baldhead. Before getting sick, I always had a smile and I missed my students seeing it. I decided to put a pair of lips on my mask so that the students would see my smile. Of course, they enjoyed it. I wanted my students to know that even in the midst of my pain I was not giving up. In May 2009, I had a stem cell transplant from my identical twin sister. God is good! This journey has not been easy but I am blessed beyond measures. I had friends and family that supported me but no one really understood what I was going through. I did not know any other young adult that had cancer that I could relate to. I found Camp-Mak-A-Dream which is a cancer camp in Montana that is available for individuals that have or had cancer. With the help of friends, I have attended camp for the last three years. Camp is very special to me because everyone that attends understands the journey of cancer. It is an amazing place that has truly influenced my life. It has helped me embrace my journey and to live life to the fullest, and have no regrets. I am able to share with others that no matter what obstacle life may bring that they can overcome.