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DOWNEY – Having battled leukemia, Downey resident Berenise Guerrero is raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Guerrero was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year at the age of 22.
“My mom would constantly tell me to go to the doctor, ‘Bere you look pale, you don’t look well…’ Yes, I was more tired and fatigued than usual but I assumed that it was just stress from trying to balance out school, work, internship, sorority, family, friends and boyfriend all at once,” Guerrero said. “Until that fatigue got the best of me.
“I almost fainted at work and was scared, so I scheduled to see the school doctor. It turned out I had a low blood count. The school doctor sent me to the Emergency Room for a blood transfusion. ‘No big deal,’ I thought to myself. More blood work was examined at the ER.”
On Oct. 22, 2013, she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and told she would need a bone marrow transplant.
“Being told that I had an aggressive form of cancer was terrifying to say the least,” said Guerrero, who attended Rio Hondo Elementary, Griffiths Middle School and Warren High. “I did not know whether to cry, scream, or be angry. I could not believe I had cancer. So many thoughts, questions and concerns filled my mind. Why me? What did I do to deserve this?”
Thankfully, Guerrero is now in remission “and ready more than ever to continue the fight.”
She will participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk at Angel Stadium on Sept. 27, which raises money to find better treatments and cures for blood cancers.
To make a donation, go to lightthenight.org, click the “Donate” button, and search for Berenise Guerrero.
“Cancer has a funny way of scaring you and empowering you at the same time,” said Guerrero. “I declare cancer has done enough damage. It must end.”
Published: July 17, 2014 – Volume 13 – Issue 14