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Laredo Cancer Society offers support to cancer patients and survivors

The month of January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, but for cancer patients and survivors it’s a lifelong battle.
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 10:21 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - The month of January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and February 4th is World Cancer Day.

But for cancer patients and survivors, it’s a lifelong battle.

One of Laredo’s very own founded the Laredo Cancer Society during her battle.

Nancy Santos passed away in 2018, but her friends keep her mission alive by providing emotional and financial assistance to patients and survivors, even during a pandemic.

“Anything that happens hits me a lot harder than everybody else,” said Rosario Vasquez. “The lung gets inflamed, and then I can’t breathe.”

Vasquez is 73 -- a survivor of lung and breast cancer.

Even though she continues to struggle with her health and is on oxygen, she leads Cancer Friends -- a free support group through the Laredo Cancer Society.

“You have somebody to talk to that knows and has gone through what you have,” she said.

As for Janee Nuñez-Villarreal, she survived thyroid cancer.

She is the fundraiser chair for LCS, and she started the Golden Heart Project, which is a childhood cancer nonprofit.

Eight years after her original diagnosis, Nuñez-Villarreal is expecting her first child.

“I was told that I possibly couldn’t be blessed with becoming a mother. I’m almost due. It’s just a reminder that God is in control, and big blessings do come when you believe,” she said.

The support group usually meets every third Thursday of the month at Laredo Medical Center, but with the pandemic: “Those people who are battling cancer or have battled cancer do have compromised immune systems, so considering that safety is our main concern we had to put that on hold.”

For Maria Magaña, she was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2016.

But now, she’s cancer free.

“Through them I was able to know I’m OK, I’m not alone and I’m not the only one going through this.”

Magaña lost her hair during chemotherapy, so she chose to wear wigs provided by an organization that other people can donate their own hair to.

The Laredo Cancer Society’s free support group is for both men and women.

Cancer patients, survivors, friends and family are welcome to attend, which is now virtual.

LCS also offers financial assistance to patients.

You can read more about LCS on their website here, and for current cancer patients seeking financial help, an application can be found here.

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