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The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to take a moment to thank Nayeli Baltazar, the Advocate of the Month for January. Nayeli has been an active member of our Facebook community and continues to help spread the message of the MCA, while lending her support and knowledge to other people affected by cancer. Below is an interview with Nayeli on how Mesothelioma affected her and her family’s lives and why she continues to spread the message the of MCA.
MCA: Has cancer affected you in some way? If so, in what way? Tell us about your experience.
Nayeli Baltazar: Yes cancer has affected me, as well as my family. My father was diagnosed with mesothelioma in January 2011. We all felt heartbroken when we got the news.
MCA: How has this shaped you as the person you are today?
Nayeli: I've learned more about cancer, especially mesothelioma. I've also learned to be more compassionate with people who are ill. I took things for granted never imagining it would be my family having to go through this.
MCA: If you were affected by cancer, what are the two biggest things you learned through this experience?
Nayeli: I learned what mesothelioma is and its risks. I never really knew anything about mesothelioma, I just remember seeing those commercials on TV. I've also learned that family is everything and we should always cherish all the moments we have with them because we never know when something bad may happen to us.
MCA: What was your motivation to become the MCA Advocate of the Month?
Nayeli: My motivation was and is my hero-- my father. Even at his sickest days, he maintained strength and had so much faith. He gave me so much good advice. I wanted to share his story so people can learn about mesothelioma and see that even after his loss, our family stands strong.
MCA: If you could say one thing to the world about cancer or mesothelioma specifically, what would it be?
Nayeli: I would say do your research on it. You will learn a lot about any type of cancer. A lot of people are dying from this disease and most of us don't even know what it really is.
MCA: Is there anything else you would like to say to the MCA community?
Nayeli: If anyone has questions about anything, I'm more than welcome to try and answer them. Also, if anyone needs help with anything, I'm also available maybe I could be of help; my family is also open to it.