Courage Against Cancer: Maria's Story

On February 4, World Cancer Day, we reflected on the brave participants who’ve been through our cancer treatment program, their struggles but also their determination and positive attitude in their effort to get back on their feet. Maria is one of them.

Maria’s journey with Mary’s Center started in the early 90’s when she came for prenatal care at our first location, a small basement in Adams Morgan, DC. After giving birth to Marvin, her eldest child who is now 24, she had two more children through Mary’s Center, Iris and Teresa (21 and 14). Throughout the years, Maria has benefited from most of the services that Mary’s Center has to offer: prenatal care, primary health and dental care, insurance enrollment, English classes, Child Care Development training and, for the past three years, cancer navigation.

Maria at the Mary's Center gal in 2008

(Above: Maria with her daughters at the Mary's Center Noche Tropical Gala in 2008)

Maria was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014 and it was devastating for her and her family. A diagnosis of breast cancer in 2016 was a further blow. Fortunately, Mary’s Center was there to help. Maria has had ups and downs but she is grateful to have had the compassionate support, counseling and guidance of our Cancer Navigation coordinator, Rosa Goyes.  Thanks to Mary’s Center, Maria has been able to access the medical care, services and emotional support she has needed to overcome every step of the treatment.

“Mary’s Center has provided me with resources that I would have never been able to find on my own, such as survivorship workshops, nutrition guidance for cancer patients, and even a wig when I started losing my hair,” says Maria with gratitude.

A couple of weeks ago, Maria finished her last round of chemotherapy and is waiting to receive the results from her doctor to learn if she is finally cancer-free.

Maria’s courage is an inspiration to us all.


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