Itzel was born on May 31st of 1963. That day was the beginning of her journey. She was born and raised in Panama where she was surrounded by all her younger siblings and family. Her childhood consisted of playing games like one where her brothers and sister would jump from couch to couch trying to avoid the floor where the “sharks” were. Her favorite time spent in Panama was always the holidays. She still to this day can remember walking out into the dining room and seeing all the food on the table and their household nativity set. These are the memories she’s held onto her entire life.
Itzel lives a passionate life. She loves seeing the world; she first moved to the United States of America in 1982 where she built a new life for herself. Perfecting her English and growing her career, she moved from state to state in search of a new home. From Florida to Washington, she’s seen it all. And of them all, a little town called Turlock in California happened to be her favorite. In Turlock, she created a little home for her and her children. The holidays are still her favorite time. She fills the table with food and sets up her own nativity set. Every year her two girls, Devika and Linda, take turns putting the baby Jesus in his crib.
Years flew by as she watched her children grow in their educational careers. She never failed at teaching them lessons about the value of life and right from wrong. As children, they always admired their moms work ethic and ability to raise them on her own. No obstacle was ever too big for her to overcome. When presented with a problem, she found a solution. She appeared to others as a superhero.
In 2013, she was diagnosed with cancer. The unfortunate part of this story is, this could have been prevented. With many emergency room trips and cries for help, the nurses and doctors insisted she was simply aging and experiences symptoms of menopause. One night, the pain was so bad, she demanded a scan be done. The scan shown a tumor growth on the lining of her uterus. The cancer is very rare and is known as Leiomyosarcoma.
It is now 2018, and she is still fighting the battle with cancer. She is seen as a superhero even more now than ever. When asking her loved ones what they think of when thinking of Itzel, a range of answers surface. But, one description is shared among them all–– strength. They define her strength through her ability to push through her health circumstances with a smile on her face, for who she is as a mother, and even her courage to try new things.
Many aspects of her life have made her the strong, independent woman she is today. From her Panamanian roots to her children, there are many aspects that make her who she is. Her love for God and her family warms her heart and provides her with the most comforting feeling she could imagine. Moreover, she is grateful and knows she is blessed.