I am involved in advocacy work because of my mom, Monique Rodriguez. She become an angel, on May 7, 2019. She was a meningioma survivor of 43 years. Although those years had been full of many deficits, she fought hard throughout and she is my hero.
Before she had her last craniotomy in 2000, I began researching treatment options and was astounded to find very little had changed since her previous surgery almost 30 years prior. Her symptoms were getting quite debilitating. Recovery from another brain surgery was something she dreaded since it had been so difficult the previous two times. But she was struggling so much to function at all that she decided to proceed.
During these times of researching, I became involved with some online support groups which led to becoming involved with advocacy work. I met so many incredible people online who helped me feel supported through the process and in turn made my mother feel understood in terms of what she had been dealing with.
She ended up battling a stroke at the time of her surgery, and also a bleed and blocked drainage which required a shunt, at a week post-op. She needed full time respiratory care and was essentially a quadriplegic, but she was fully cognitive and she always had a big smile for us...the people she wanted so badly to live for. Her quality of life was difficult, yet she sought to find joys to sustain herself. Her grandchildren meant everything to her!! It was not easy, yet she kept on keeping on (KOKO).
My goal is to help educate patients to advocate for themselves and to raise funding for brain cancer research, so that others may have better treatment options and increased quality of life than she has had.
Monique…I am so grateful to have had you as my mother. Your strength and hope radiated to all those who knew you. You were the bravest person I've ever known. You had so much adversity, yet you found joy. I hope to be even a portion of the woman you were. We honor you and are your voice when you didn't have one.
Please help by sponsoring me (and my mom Monique) today!