Purves resident Elvia Rodriquez was devastated to learn she had stage 4 stomach cancer, but the strong, hard-working woman remains optimistic and committed to caring for her family.
In July, Elvia went to the doctor after feeling discomfort in her stomach. Doctors discovered two ovarian tumors and underwent surgery to have them removed - but the problem persisted and she went for more testing and was diagnosed with cancer.
"I was shocked when the doctor told me I had cancer. I didn't know what to do or how I was supposed to react," Elvia said. "Today I just keep going trying to live life normally."
The news came as a surprise to the Rodriquez's who have no family history of the disease.
"This is all new to us," said Elvia's husband Chino. "The problem is we are not familiar with cancer since none of our family has ever had it. We are now fully relying on the doctors."
Elvia is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
"I tell my kids not to worry about me, even though I know they do. That has been the biggest impact for me. My family means everything to me, I want them to know one day I will be okay again," Elvia said.
A benefit was held last weekend at Dublin City Park in conjunction with a weekend rodeo. Proceeds from concessions were donated to the family to offset medical expenses. Elvia and her family were there working the concession stand.
Despite the difficulty, the family remains focused on the future.
"We cannot fall down," Chino said. "We must remain standing tall and keep moving forward."