Sunday, June 17, 2018
News Roundup

'Giving up was never an option,' says Dade City breast cancer survivor

By the time she was 22, Patty Jauregui had moved past her brush with death. She overcame end stage renal disease several years earlier with the help of a successful kidney transplant. She graduated with honors from Wesley Chapel High School and volunteered as a tutor for the children of migrant farmworkers in Dade City.

Then in June 2011 she felt so sick and exhausted, she went to the hospital.

Doctors told Jauregui that her transplanted kidney was failing.

And they discovered a golf ball-sized lump on her right breast, which turned out to be stage 4 breast cancer.

"(My doctor) said these three words that I will never forget: You have cancer," she said. "I was shocked and speechless. I could not believe it because I was so young. I felt my heart shatter into millions of pieces and I tried very hard to keep my emotions in, but I could not. The tears started rolling down my cheeks and when I turned to my doctor, she too had tears and said she wished that this was not happening to me."

Jauregui (pronounced how-reh-gee) has spent too much of her young life in hospital beds and hooked to dialysis machines. So when she's feeling well, she tries to live life to the fullest.

She has served as a volunteer assistant in kindergarten classes at Rodney B. Cox Elementary School. She takes karate lessons. She belongs to an east Pasco dance team that performs at Cinco de Mayo and Mexican Independence Day festivals in Dade City, swirling to the music in colorful costumes.

The team is called Las Mariposas — the Butterflies.

• • •

The day before her 14th birthday, Jauregui felt very ill and fatigued. She went to the hospital. "All I wanted to do was stay home and go to sleep," she said. "My doctors said that if I did that, I would have died."

The doctors discovered that fluids and toxic wastes were building up around her heart. They diagnosed her with glomerulonephritis, an end stage renal disease that had caused both of her kidneys to fail.

After being flown to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, she underwent emergency surgery and began dialysis treatments. She continued going to Tampa General Hospital for three days a week to continue her treatments. She went to school when she could and worked with a tutor to keep up with her studies.

"I never gave up in school," she said. "I always thought that what I was going through was no excuse to not succeed."

She received her new kidney in December 2004. Life became normal — until last year, when doctors discovered the new kidney was failing and Jauregui had developed breast cancer.

The twin diagnoses complicated matters. Jauregui couldn't qualify for a new kidney until she'd been cancer-free for three years.

She started chemotherapy in August 2011 at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, while also going in regularly for kidney dialysis. With her energy for volunteer work depleted, she found another way to give: She donated her long brown tresses to Locks of Love, a nonprofit that creates wigs for children with long-term hair loss.

• • •

After six cycles of chemo, Jauregui was declared cancer-free this past spring. She returned this fall to her studies at Pasco-Hernando Community College, hoping to someday become a pediatric nurse for children with cancer.

"I've been through so much and I know what it feels like," said Jauregui, now 23. "I want to help these children cope. I understand what they're feeling."

She continues with dialysis, praying to remain in remission so she can get a new kidney. But she's not sitting idle.

Jauregui has organized her own team — the Pink Lotus Warriors — for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The group raised more than $1,000 for the American Cancer Society last year, and will be participating in the Oct. 20 Making Strides event at the Shops of Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel.

And most Tuesdays, she meets up with the other members of Las Mariposas to dance.

"I was healed, thanks be to God. Giving up was never an option for me because God created me and he will decide when it's my time to go. I wasn't going to let cancer or any other disease decide that it's my time to go," she said.

"People have always asked me how is that I can be so positive and smiling all the time even though I'm going through rough times, and I would say that God has always been by my side and I knew that because I always have felt a great sense of peace in my heart. I knew I was not alone."

Comments
Fatherís Day on the water

Fatherís Day on the water

Luis Santana | TimesBoaters take advantage of the calm seas and warm weather to enjoy the waters near the Dunedin Causeway on Fatherís Day. Dozens of boats were beached along the shores of Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island State Park.
Updated: 3 hours ago
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A motorcyclist and pedestrian both died in a crash Saturday night near Palmetto Road and U.S. 19, police reported.About 10:30 p.m., a St. Petersburg man, 41, was riding a 2012 Honda motorcycle north on the highway, according to the ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

UPDATE, 11:37: Interesting decision by the Rays to move Adames to 2B today and reinstall Hechavarria at SS as he came off DL following Arroyo injury.Here is the Rays lineup:Duffy 3bBauers 1bRamos cCron dhAdames 2bHechavarria ssGomez rfRefsnyder lfFie...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Chicago soldier killed in Korea finally being laid to rest

Chicago soldier killed in Korea finally being laid to rest

CHICAGO — Not long after her father went missing during the Korean War, Carol Elkin spotted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower in downtown Chicago and did what any kid might do when coming face to face with the nation’s most famous soldier: She ...
Published: 06/17/18
1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

TRENTON, N.J ó Shooting broke out at an all-night art festival in Trenton, New Jersey, early Sunday, sending people stampeding from the scene and leaving one suspect dead and 20 people injured, a local prosecutor said. Many of the 20 injured were tre...
Published: 06/17/18

spain600 migrants allowed off ships after rescueAbout 600 migrants disembarked from three ships Sunday in the port of Valencia, more than a week after they had been rescued at sea only to be turned away by Italy and Malta. Arriving separately, the Aq...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., June 17, midday:87 662 6806e_SRit48442Sun., June 17, evening:66 701 0866e_SRit27697Fantasy 5Sunday...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Gunfire erupts at festival; 22 hurt

Gunfire erupts at festival; 22 hurt

TRENTON, N.J. ó Gunmen opened fire at an all-night arts and music festival early Sunday morning, sending people running over each other in the scramble to safety, authorities said. One suspect was killed and 22 people, including two suspects, were in...
Updated: 3 hours ago