Nurses inspired cancer survivor's career choice

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Print This ArticlePrint This Article

After beating cancer, a young Miami-Dade woman is ready to take classes toward a meaningful career in nursing, but expenses are a hurdle.

Her short brown hair covers the scar left from the orange-size tumor that doctors removed.

Since the operation to remove a brain tumor a year and a half ago, Maria Silva has undergone untold hours of rehabilitation, along with some setbacks, like the epilepsy she developed since the surgery.

As she prepares to return to school to pursue a nursing degree, the 22-year-old needs few things: a laptop computer for school work; prescription glasses or contact lenses since her vision changed after surgery, and orthopedic shoes to steady her left leg, a result of the tumor affecting her balance.

''I don't want to stay at the house and have my parents pay, I want to be independent,'' Silva said, of her desire to take classes at Miami Dade College in January and become a nurse.

''I like helping a lot,'' she said. ``The way they treated me was really nice and I want to be like them.''

Just two summers ago, Silva was driving to class when she felt a tingling in her left foot. Her leg went numb. She made it to school, but when she tried to walk her leg gave out.

Silva realized she needed to see a doctor. She went to the emergency room, where she waited for several hours and then returned the next day.

(See the Miami Herald's report by clicking here)