Life in general is kind of hard to deal with,
I think, for everybody. And the fact that you can fall
down and keep getting up is really important. Cecilia Fernandez, 1997 Western Athletic Conference
Player of the Year from the University of Hawaii, knows how to get back up. That was nice. We knew that it was going to be cancer. I
mean, I didn’t. My husband did. He was like, I know
what it is already. I guess having that in the back of your mind makes it more frustrating,
that you know, they can’t figure it out. In 2013, the mother of five found out she
had a rare form of cancer known as adenocarcinoma in
situ, or AIS. It’s not your typical lung cancer. It’s not
like your typical any kind of cancer, I guess. It’s kind of
like when you see it in the scan, it’s like kind of wispy-looking, I guess. And so, the
only frustrating thing is that maybe if they would
find a better way to, you know, do this diagnosis, people would get diagnosed earlier, and then
maybe have a better chance. Leave this pencil in there. By the time she was diagnosed, Fernandez was
on the fourth stage of AIS. With cancer beginning to spread to other organs, she found herself
running into overtime. I didn’t really feel sad or scared, so to
speak. I just kind of felt like, okay, what do we do next,
what’s our game plan. Five seconds. She’s number three. And you really have to persevere in order
to be successful. 1993 National Collegiate Women’s Volleyball
… Sometimes, you’re not successful, and you
know, you still don’t win, but you’re going to come
back the next year and try again. I’m a little fearful right now, and it’s not
that I’m afraid of dying. It’s that I’m afraid because I feel
like we don’t really have a game plan at the moment. Fernandez is more than capable of fighting
cancer herself, but the team at home makes it clear she
doesn’t have to. My oldest daughter makes me low carb desserts
’cause she knows I’m a dessert fanatic. So, I
mean, my husband, he makes a smoothie for me every morning, all vegetables and fruits.
He makes sure that I drink it, he makes sure
that I work out every morning. With this home advantage, Fernandez responded
so well to her chemotherapy that the doctors decided to lighten her treatment. Unfortunately,
she experienced an abrupt downturn in health following the change. Now back on full medication,
Fernandez is struggling to regain the progress she made. We’re kind of in the gray area right now.
We’re hoping that it’s going to help again, but we got to
wait ’til the next scan. Thinking about my family falling apart makes
me stronger. It helps me to persevere and do the
things that I believe are helping me to win the battle, I guess. Thank you very much … This is Giel Tolentino from Maui High School,
for HIKI NŌ.