A mom whose cancer took her from her job as a waitress at a high school cafeteria to the brink of death is now taking steps to make sure others know the story of how she got through it.
Alicia Perez, 37, who was diagnosed with colon cancer in March, was in a hospice room at St. John’s Hospital when she noticed something unusual.
Her doctor was talking about the possibility of surgery.
Perez didn’t want to hear it.
She did her own research.
She was diagnosed after a routine colonoscopy, and the doctor recommended a colonoscopies at her own high school in suburban Detroit.
The school district said it could afford to pay for the procedure.
But Perez was sick enough by then that she had to be rushed to the hospital to get the procedure done.
Perez was the first person to die in a U.S. high school since the school year began in 1976.
She died in April, just weeks after her daughter’s 17th birthday.
Pasquale R. Perez, left, and Alicia Perez, center, in front of their home in suburban Dearborn, Michigan, May 15, 2019.
Courtesy Alicia Perez Perez.
A day before her daughter was born, Perez was told her cancer was so advanced that it would kill her.
She had surgery and was told to stop eating for two weeks.
She went back to work.
She returned to school for her senior year and was named a top student.
She worked her way up to become a senior counselor.
She wanted to share the story.
She thought she’d share her story to help others who might be facing similar situations.
So she put out a call on Facebook for stories of mothers whose children were diagnosed with cancer.
Her post garnered thousands of shares and thousands of likes.
Pero, Perez’s daughter, was diagnosed two years ago.
She started getting worried.
She’s been scared of going to the doctor, worried she might not make it.
“When I started getting sick, I just couldn’t stay away,” she said.
“I couldn’t take the pressure off of myself.
It made me feel better.”
She told Perez about a classmate who lost her father, and Perez talked her into getting an MRI to see if she had colon cancer.
She went to the local doctor, and she got a test for colorectal cancer.
Parses mother, Patricia, was worried about what was happening to her daughter.
She also worried about her daughter getting sick.
She knew the tests were useless, but she wanted her daughter to know it was not her fault.
“She started crying, because I couldn’t get it out of her,” Patricia said.
“I was like, ‘Why?’
Because she didn’t know about it,” Patricia added.
“She was a sweet, smart, caring girl.”
After Perez was diagnosed, she began taking more tests.
Her son also began getting sick and started to get worried.
I was so scared.””
But it just never really hit home.
I was so scared.”
Alicias cancer diagnosisThe day Perez was to be discharged from the hospital, Patricia was called into a meeting.
She had been talking to Perez about her cancer diagnosis and told her that Perez had passed the colorerectal cancer test.
Patricia asked Perez if she would like to be the first one to go to the MRI.
Pesas mother, who didn’t have the funds to get an MRI, didn’t say no.
She asked the other nurses if they would be willing to come.
Patricia went to her own doctor.
Patricia said she was scared because Perez was too sick to go in.
Patrizas son also was worried.
Patricia told Perez that if she passed the cancer test, she would be able to be at home and she could still take her son to the school and see him.
“It’s just a lot to think about,” Patricia recalled.
“If I can just do this, I can do this.”
She decided to go with the plan.
The next day, Perez showed up to the exam room, where she had a CT scan.
Patricia was shocked.
She called her mother and told Patricia that Perez was going to be fine.
Patricia then asked Perez what her daughter said.
Pentos mother said that Perez said, ‘You’re going to die.’
“And she said, Oh my god, I didn’t think that was possible.””
Perendos daughter was a senior and had a 1-year-old boy. “
And she said, Oh my god, I didn’t think that was possible.”
Perendos daughter was a senior and had a 1-year-old boy.
She told Patricia she wanted to