KeepHealthCare.ORG – Pembroke Pines breast cancer survivor wins statewide award, up for national honors
When Myra Camino’s son was 18 months old, she discovered a lump in her breast, but her doctor told her not to worry about it. That it was probably a clogged milk duct and to wait it out until her breast milk dried up. Eight months later, Camino was told that she had stage-three breast cancer that had already spread to her lymph nodes.
Despite aggressive chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and radiation, the cancer still spread to Camino’s spine, upgrading its status to stage-four. But Camino, a wife and mother of two young boys, kept fighting.
And it’s that same fight and determination that set the Pembroke Pines resident apart from the other 15,000 Big Brothers Big Sisters of Florida members, earning her a unanimous selection as Big of the Year for the State of Florida.
“In spite of a whirlwind of aggressive treatment, medications and doctors, Myra has maintained a fully-committed, caring relationship with her Little Sister Saleen,” President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County Ana Cedeno said. “She looks to the future and celebrates life with a broad smile, positive attitude and contagious enthusiasm.”
The honor puts Camino in contention for the National Big of the Year award, which is presented by Big Brother Big Sisters of America — a national program that pairs children facing adversity with mentors.
Camino has been matched to her Little Sister, Saleen, for five years. Their partnership began when Saleen was six and lost her father.
“She has a quiet strength, and the loss of her dad didn’t stop her,” Camino said. “She’s an overcomer, although she hasn’t yet realized how strong she is.”
Camino is also an overcomer. Even though she can’t consider herself “cured,” she currently has no evidence of the cancer.
“I will have this for the rest of my life,” Camino said. “It’s treatable but not curable. At least I’m alive.”
Saleen is Camino’s third Little Sister, mentoring children for over a dozen years. She also works part time at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward as a client advancement coordinator and is an active community ambassador.
“The disease didn’t get the best of Myra – or the best of her match with Saleen,” Cedeno continued. “She was and still is committed to the match, in spite of the scary diagnosis and surrounding circumstances.”
The National Big of the Year winner will be named later this month according to a news release.