POSTED: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 6:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 10:39pm
One family in El Paso has seen over twenty of its members diagnosed with cancer. We sat down with them today to see how they turned a tragic chain of events into something positive.
When Lupe Sanchez was diagnosed with breast cancer fourteen years ago, she didn't think she'd survive. But now she's now in remission.
"We find out we can beat it - and we just do," she said.
Her battle with cancer is far from over. That's because she's watched over twenty family members get diagnosed, one by one.
"My daughter, 2 cousins on each side, an uncle, another uncle, my dad died of stomach cancer at the age of 28, and then my husband."
Lupe's daughter, Rosemary, was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She's been in remission for over twenty years.
"We're more like sisters than we are mother and daughter," Rosemary said. "It's made all of us stronger."
Lupe's husband, Phil, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He's been in remission for two years.
"My daughter, my wife, and myself have been very lucky in that our cancers have gone into remission," Phil said.
"It's devastating to get a diagnosis," said oncologist Dr. Ragene Rivera, who works at the Texas Oncology El Paso Cancer Treatment Center.
She says there's no way to know if the Sanchez's have a gene that makes them more susceptible to the disease, but does know that with early detection and today's technology, patients stand a better chance..to stand up to cancer.
"Most breast cancer is very treatable and very curable," said Dr. Rivera
The Sanchez's say early detection is what saved their lives. They hope to be an inspiration to those who share the same thoughts Lupe did when she was diagnosed.
"It's devastating, but it can be beat," she said.
This month the Sanchez's will be speaking at several events as part of breast cancer awareness month to remind people to get their regular checkups.