Young Cancer Patient Needs Your Help

By: Ashmar Mandou

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthTwelve-year old Veronica ‘Christy’ Marquez was once a vibrant, silly, energetic young girl who, like other 12-year olds, enjoyed socializing with her classmates and spending time with family. “She just liked the typical things a young girl would like,” said Marquez’s mother Veronica Duran. “She was very funny.”

However, life changed for both Marquez and Duran this past June as Marquez was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called, Neuroepithelioma, a malignant tumor of the Neuroepithelium family. This type of cancer derives from certain nerve cells and can spread through other parts of the bodies. Because there aren’t enough cases, Duran stated, Marquez’s doctors are unable to ascertain how this type of illness formed in Marquez’s body. “All they know is that it is genetic,” said Duran. “They are still trying to figure out what causes this type of cancer.”

Since Marquez’s diagnosis, she has undergone several Chemotherapy treatments to help get rid of the cancerous tumors. “She is definitely a fighter. She is mentally prepared for all the physical changes…she has her moments, for sure. She has her hard days, but we both are putting our faith in a higher power,” said Duran.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Duran has experienced this kind of worry. Before Marquez’s diagnosis, Duran’s 6 year-old daughter Brianna succumbed to the same type of cancer a year earlier. “The doctors and I were shocked when Brianna was diagnosed and then again when Veronica was diagnosed this past summer,” said Duran. “We are all trying to figure out why this is happening and we can get through this together.” According to Marquez’s doctors, 10 to 15 cases of Neuroepithelium surface yearly.

And although the past few months have proven to be a challenge for Duran and her daughter, she believes this experience will only make her family stronger. “Nobody should go through this, but to see Veronica show a positive attitude is inspiring.”

Currently, Duran is counting on the help of the community to assist in any way they can. On Friday, Oct. 5th a fundraiser will take place at the Skylite West Banquet Hall, 7117 W. Ogden Ave., in Berwyn to help assist with Marquez’s medical expenses. Tickets for the fundraiser are $50 which will include dinner and a raffle. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to attend and donate. For additional information, contact Susie at 312-860-5720. “We really hope Veronica’s story reaches a larger community and more can be learned about this type of cancer.”


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