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Deisy Esquivel: Journey of Strength at Texas Tech Health El Paso Breast Care Center

Deisy Esquivel's life was forever altered in 2022. Diagnosed with Stage 3, nearly Stage 4, aggressive and invasive breast cancer, tests revealed the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and thorax. She faced an overwhelming challenge that left her in shock and questioning how much time she had left.


"The news regarding my breast cancer diagnosis was tough," Esquivel said. "For everyone who receives such news, especially for me, it was like dying.”


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers, accounting for 1 in 3 of all new female cancers each year, according to the American Cancer Society. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death in women and the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women in the U.S. About 42,250 women will die from breast cancer this year. With screening and access to care, survival is possible.


"I was very frustrated. I was mad at myself and I felt guilty. I had about three months filled with a lot of anger and guilt,” Esquivel said. "For me, it was important to stay in El Paso for my treatment. I was newly married, and my children were living in Juárez. Traveling for treatment implied experiencing a financial burden and being away from the only person who was supporting me.”


Colleen Marusich is a Borderplex cancer warrior today thanks to the care she received at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso’s Breast Care Center.

For Esquivel, Texas Tech Health El Paso’s Breast Care Center opened its doors during her dark time, and together they embarked on a transformative journey. It wasn’t just cancer treatment Esquivel received, but a caring and skilled medical team that comforted her when she was scared and angry.


Despite the challenging start, the doctors, nurses and staff at the Breast Care Center gradually became more than just medical professionals to Esquivel.


"Now they’re my family. I love going to visit them, conversing with them and laughing with them," said Esquivel, who is now in remission. The center's commitment to holistic care played a pivotal role in her healing journey. "They do a marvelous job at the Breast Care Center because they treat patients like family. It was hard, but it was also beautiful to find people like them."


Esquivel’s journey stands as a testament to resilience, compassion and the unwavering support of her community at the Breast Care Center. Her story isn’t just one of survival, but of the extraordinary strength found in the face of adversity, and the profound impact that compassionate care can have on a patient's life.


Now, women like Esquivel will find even more support with the Steve and Nancy Fox Cancer Center coming to Texas Tech Health El Paso and its Cancer Center Patient Fund. Established to support future Fox Cancer Center patients, the fund was created with an initial $100,000 gift from a local family dedicated to easing the financial burden of cancer treatment.




When the family heard the community matched their initial gift within three months, they were so impressed with our Borderplex region’s commitment to providing world-class patient care close to home, they gave a second $100,000 gift, providing another opportunity for our community to match and meet the ongoing need to fund this important initiative. Together with community champions, the family has given the Cancer Center Patient Fund a strong start with $300,000 to assist families in the region.



“Incredibly, there are still people who look to help others unconditionally,” Esquivel said. “Thank you to all who give to help others and people like me who have a great medical need. I hope soon I’ll also be one who gives, even if it’s a small amount.”


 

YOU CAN HELP

Support from our community partners saves lives through access to critical breast cancer screening and patient navigation services. Hope begins HERE at Texas Tech Health El Paso, where cancer prevention and support ensure a brighter future for our Borderplex community.


CLICK HERE to give now to the Cancer Center Patient Fund. Because every dollar is matched, your gift will be doubled.


At Texas Tech Health El Paso, we are committed to growing our own health care heroes and changing the state of health care in our Borderplex. For more information about how you can help, please contact andrea.tawney@ttuhsc.edu or craig.holden@ttuhsc.edu or visit ttuhscep.edu/elpaso/ia/giving/.


 

About the Breast Care Center

The Breast Care Center is operated by Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, the clinical practice of the Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech Health El Paso. Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso is the region’s most extensive multispecialty medical group practice, with over 250 specialists who are also medical school faculty. The Breast Care Center, which has served our community for 30 years, is known for world-class patient care, bringing together teams of specialists to map out the best care plan for cancer warriors.


 

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