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Faces of Blue: Valerie De La Cruz

By March 30, 2013Faces of Blue

FOB-ValerieDeLaCruz1I never imagined losing my Dad at the age of 58, especially to colon cancer. My Dad, Ruben M. De La Cruz Sr. passed away December 1, 2011, a few days after his 58th birthday.

He was a father of three, had a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, who he spoiled rotten.  My Dad loved to hunt, bar-b-que and most of all, loved going fishing with family and friends. Every year we would all get together for a fish fry on Good Friday and even though my Dad is no longer with us, we still continue our tradition.  He was the person who made everyone laugh when the family would get together, he was one funny man who we truly miss every day.

My Dad was sick, with what we thought was just something that would go away with over the counter medicines, but no over the counter medicines would cure what he had.  Him being a stubborn man and didn’t like going to the doctors, my sister-in-law convinced him. It took my dad a few months before he went to go get checked. When he finally went and after a few test, we found out he had a tumor. I was trying to stay positive and strong because my dadFOB-ValerieDeLaCruz2 was crying after they told him it could be cancer. Even though it was the hardest thing seeing my dad cry, I told him to stay positive because they still needed to do a biopsy after leaving the doctors office that time, my dad and I had to break to our family and it wasn’t easy for us to do.

I remembered going to another appointment with him and the doctor told him to go to the hospital because he needed to be admitted fast because of the size of his tumor. We came home picked up a few things for him and then he went to the hospital. More test, no surgery and was released a few days later, and day before thanksgiving. It was good to have him home and celebrate thanksgiving with him. The next day November 25th was his 58th birthday and he was in a lot of pain, but we still wanted to celebrate. I was happy he was able to eat his chocolate cake my cousin made for him because he had his eye on it since she brought it.

FOB-ValerieDeLaCruz3Who knew it would be the last time we would sing “Happy Birthday” to him but I’m glad he enjoyed it. After a few days, my Dad was admitted into the hospital for the second time, but this time he didn’t make it home. He stayed that night and the next morning my brother received a phone call from my Dad that he was in a lot of pain. We rushed to the hospital and we saw the nurses working on him, they informed us they were rushing him to ICU. They then told us he would be getting emergency surgery because his tumor had grown and caused a lot of damage to my Dad. My Dad made it through the surgery, but passed away later that night surrounded by family and friends. No matter how much pain my Dad was in, he never stopped smiling and joking around with everyone. That night he showed me how strong of a man he was.

In my Dad’s memory, my family and I came up with team “Fish On.” We will continue to keep his memory alive by participating in the Get Your Rear in Gear walk/run in San Antonio, TX and raise money to help others.



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