Season for Caring, Breast Cancer Resource Center, Araceli Ramirez – Austin American-Statesman | CarTailz

Leyva Ramirez’s childhood was not without its challenges, but he credited many of the bright spots in his young life to his mother, Araceli.

“When I was little, I used to watch my parents fight. I used to watch my sisters fight,” he said. “But I have happy memories of my childhood. My mother took me to the movies, to the park to hang out with my friends. My friends were just as nerdy as me. My childhood wasn’t perfect. But I wouldn’t change it. There was good and bad, and I owed a lot of the good to my mother.”

The two words that spring to mind when Leyva Ramirez thinks of his mother are “brave and strong.”

“She showed me a lot. Not giving up and being strong, no matter what obstacles you face, no matter what challenges, keep your head up and keep going,” he said. “She did everything she did herself.”

Watch: Season for Caring, Ramirez family

Araceli Ramirez has stage four breast cancer and is cared for by her 22-year-old son Jesus.

Nicole Villalpando, American statesman from Austin

In many ways, Araceli Ramirez hasn’t had an easy life. She was born in Mexico City and grew up in a small town a few hours away. The youngest of eight children, she was placed in the care of relatives and siblings at the age of 2 after her father died and her mother was looking for work.

Ramirez moved to Austin in 1998 and was soon followed by her two young daughters before giving birth to their son. She spent years in a bad marriage until she separated from her husband in 2014. A year later she got her first breast cancer diagnosis.

“I felt something strange in my chest, a little lump. And I’ve seen on TV that the best thing to do is get them checked out,” she said. “They told me it could be cancer. I was really nervous waiting to find out and when they called me to the clinic to tell me I was desperate. I was really scared.”

After chemotherapy and radiation, her cancer went into remission for five years — until last year she started feeling tired and her chest turned red.

“I was afraid to go to the doctor and ask about my health because I was afraid of what they would tell me,” she said. “It was like I already knew, but I didn’t want them to tell me. I didn’t want to go through that again.”

In February, Ramirez was diagnosed with stage four metastatic cancer, meaning it has spread throughout his body. She had an operation last month that will likely limit movement in her left arm, limiting her ability to work as a house cleaner. New spots were discovered in her lungs this month. She would like a second opinion at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Their daughters cannot provide much financial support because they have families of their own. For now, Ramirez is making ends meet on her limited income and with the help of her son.

He began working in retail after school and weekends to earn extra money when his mother was first diagnosed at 15.

Leyva Ramirez put off college to work in construction to take care of his mother – he wants to study international business and start his own business in Mexico City. All of his income goes towards household expenses and medical bills.

While Leyva Ramirez is at work — sometimes from 5 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m. — Ramirez is home alone. She said her sister tried to come visiting from Mexico to look after her but was turned around at the border.

Ramirez said the idea of ​​strangers donating to help her through this difficult time felt like “a huge blessing.”

“This was a reminder that there are also good things in this world and good people in this life. Sometimes it feels like everything is bad, but it’s not,” she said. “Sometimes I ask myself: Why did this happen? But maybe it should teach me something. That there will always be bad things, but there are good things in life too.”

More:Read more Season for Caring stories

The wishes of the Ramirez family:

Study aid for Jesus to study international business at Austin Community College; Help buying the land your caravan is on; rental assistance; Auto repairs for both cars; pay off Jesus’ car; Help paying for a second opinion at MD Anderson and gas and hotel for the trip; fence for their property; new air conditioning and heating; new washer and dryer; new flooring in bedroom, kitchen and dining room; Replace and expand kitchen counter; new backsplash in kitchen; Create a built-in pantry; add shelves to kitchen cabinets; Refrigerator; Microwave; extractor hood; water dispenser; Coffee machine; juicer; dining table with chairs; new overhead lighting; ceiling fan and installation; bedside lamp; floor lamp; replace shower heads; replace exhaust vents; Living room furniture, including a new couch: plates, glasses, cutlery, knives and cutting boards; laundry room shelving and storage; new bedroom doors; Nightstands; two 40 inch TVs; PlayStation; Laptop; pillows, duvets and sheets for queen-size beds; new dressers; bath and hand towels; Garbage can; electric toothbrushes; Vacuum cleaner; new bathroom mirrors; bathroom vanity remodel; add a tub instead of a shower; new tub in the guest bathroom; new toilet; repair hole in wall; Cleaning supplies; high speed internet; new exterior doors; add house numbers; outdoor carpet; Grill; Garden furniture: blinds; new floor fan covers; new light switches; Landscaping including adding a garden and grass and maintenance; new planters; Landscaping tools; tree trimming; tree swing; Sprinkler; Deck expansion and new deck with shadowing; outdoor motion detectors; Security system; gutters to protect the front door; ramp for wheelchair; roof inspection and new roof or repairs; paint the house and shed; repair the crack in the outer sidewall; and gift cards for clothing and shoe stores, Gas and HEB.

Wishlist available on Amazon.

nominated by: Breast Cancer Resource Center, 8127 Mesa Drive, Suite B206 No. 131, Austin, TX 78759-8632. 512-524-2560; bcrc.org.

Its mission: Empower those affected by breast cancer with personalized support and compassion.

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