Sophomore raises awareness for breast cancer


Emily Miranda wore breast cancer awareness shirts at least once a week for all of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“If I wasn’t wearing a breast cancer shirt,” she said, “it was a ribbon or button.”

Sophomore Miranda found out her mother had breast cancer the summer before eighth grade.

“Out of nowhere, she started going to more doctor’s offices. Then she was saying how her chest was hurting. One day, she told me and all of my siblings to cancel our plans and meet at our grandma’s house, and then she told us. I was so upset,” Miranda said.

Miranda’s mother, Yolanda Amaro started chemo right after she told her family. The doctors caught the cancer early, so the chemo was for only 7 months. The radiation did not dissolve the tumors and Amaro continued with a double mastectomy which removes the breast tissue of both breasts.

About 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer, but fortunately for Miranda and her family, Amaro survived. However, she will have to take medicine for the rest of her life.

Miranda’s mother celebrated her first birthday after chemo with this cake. “That birthday was the best,” she said.

Amaro’s cancer was most likely due to the BRCA gene, a mutation that makes women highly likely to have breast and ovarian cancer. Miranda has yet to be tested for the gene, but breast cancer runs in the family, she says, making the gene likely.

Miranda often had to help her family during this hard time.

“I had to do a lot because some days my aunt couldn’t get off work and I would have to take care of my brother and sister. My mom would get the chemo while we were at school and sleep for the rest of the day.”

All the extra work caught up to Miranda one day at school when she found out one of her teachers had a relative that died of cancer.

“We sat together and cried after class. And I remember him saying, ‘picture just sitting around and not being able to help the person you want to help. You would switch bodies with them to stop the pain if you could.”