A South Buffalo family has been through a great deal recently. The leader of their family, Antoinette Jimenez, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and their world has been turned upside down ever since.
“My mom, Antoinette, received her diagnosis in December of 2017 and it took us completely by surprise,” said Tatiana Jimenez-Knight. “She was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at 45, which this cancer is most common in individuals around age 70. She has a tumor in her colon and the tumors metastasized to her liver which had four tumors. So far, she’s gone through a month and a half of chemo as well as a liver surgery in which they removed 60 percent of her liver. She is currently at home recovering from this major surgery and no longer has any cancer in her liver, but she still has a colon surgery and more chemo to undergo this year. Her doctors believe with this aggressive treatment she can be cancer free in December. It’s been really rough on our family since she’s the main caretaker for my 14-year-old sister, Sierra, and our grandparents who live with us as well.”
Tatiana’s 85-year-old grandfather has dementia and he is declining in function. Tatiana has been balancing helping her mother heal, working, and helping her grandmother with her grandfather while her mother gets well again.
“She’s the greatest mom and I’m not just saying that because she’s mine,” said Tatiana. “She’s a mom to all of my friends, all of her friends kids, and my cousins as well. She’s done all of this on her own as a single mother of two girls. Everyone knows that if you need anything you call her and she’ll figure something out. She has given people the world and never asked for anything in return. She raised half of my cousins when they had tough times with their families and were going through rough patches. She has been so positive throughout this whole experience even when I know she is terrified. She doesn’t like having to rely on everyone because she has always been the one everyone else relies on.”
Antoinette has been driving the UB stampede bus for six years. Due to her the treatments she is receiving from Roswell she is unable to work. Tatiana says it has been especially difficult financially since the family is a working class family in which everyone pitching in really matters.
“Everyone in my immediate family has been pitching in and doing their best to help out with day to day tasks like shopping and taking people to appointments, but it’s a balancing act. We have received so much love and support from friends and family,” said Tatiana.
A GoFundMe page has been created to help Antoinette and her family during this difficult time. If you would like to make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/antoinettes-cancer-fund.