At age 39, Miranda found a lump in her breast that her doctor assured her was nothing to worry about - “You’re too young!” he said. She had no family history of breast cancer, didn’t smoke, rarely drank, and nursed 4 of her children. After 6 months, a birthday, and a new lump, she received the diagnosis of Stage 3 Invasive Ducal Carcinoma. A quick introduction into the medical complex followed, along with a year that included chemotherapy, a double mastectomy with immediate DIEP flap reconstruction, and radiation. Being a young Hispanic woman, she often felt out of place among the mostly older non-Hispanic patients. Most support groups she encountered were populated with women who were mostly affluent, had retired or had adult children. Being a stay at home mom and not having worked outside the home in over 15 years, she felt she was in a completely different world than those in treatment around her. It was then that she knew once she was done with active treatment that she would seek out young women who felt exactly as she did. A yoga event sponsored by the hospital and the local YSC group was the catalyst to doing just so! A year after finishing active treatment, she began to volunteer at Houston Methodist Hospital on the infusion floor as a CanCare.org volunteer, visiting with patients while they go through chemotherapy infusions. She also began to lead the HMH local support group, in conjunction with Reconstruction of a Survivor, in the Houston medical center. These two opportunities allow her to meet newly diagnosed women who are looking for support, whether it be through an intimate group setting or a weekend event with the local YSC group. She is a volunteer turned employee with Wig Out.org which offers free wig kits to uninsured and underinsured women, out of Smith Clinic and LBJ Hospital, part of Harris Health Systems in Harris County. Her story has been featured on @Mujeres Imparables, on Instagram, which is a new initiative of @Telemundo and @ElPoderEnTi to boost the progress of women, especially Latinas, in our society. Her writing has been featured on the website, ForTheBreastOfUs.com, a breast cancer community for women of color. She has also become involved with wildfirecommunity.org, having written an article for Wildfire Magazine, in December/January 2020.
Miranda has been married to her biggest supporter and best friend Joseph since 2001 and resides in Houston, Texas with her 5 children - 2 of which are girls. 2020 is also the year she gets to welcome her first grandchild, something at the beginning of her treatment seemed out of the question. She is thrilled to be selected to be a RISE participant, to be able to share and support other young Hispanic women in their breast cancer journey, and more importantly, to instill and grow the knowledge of advocacy in her own daughters.