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Fort Bend ISD Salutes Its Breast Cancer Survivors, Including District Receptionist Rita Nunez

(FORT BEND ISD)– October is annually observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Fort Bend ISD joins the nation in saluting the brave individuals touched by this disease.

Rita Nunez, one of FBISD’s district receptionists and parent of a Ridge Point High School graduate, is a two-time survivor of breast cancer. She was first diagnosed in 2004 while living in Illinois. After feeling ill for nearly a year, tests showed that she had a low white blood count. After the discovery of a lump, she was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma stage III.

To battle this aggressive form, Nunez underwent surgery, a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and tamoxifen, a hormone therapy.

After moving to Houston in 2011, Nunez joined the survivorship program at MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2019, she began feeling overly tired and experienced pain in her body. She had a diagnostic mammogram performed and received a new diagnosis - ductal carcinoma insitu stage 0. Fortunately, this form had not yet spread, and she was treated with surgery, a lumpectomy and radiation.

“Currently, I am in remission,” Nunez said. “I’ve completed four years cancer free. Next year will mark five years, and God willing, I’ll be celebrating and re-graduating to the survivorship program.”

When thinking about what it means to be a survivor, Nunez reflects on the words her doctor spoke almost 20 years ago after she first beat the disease – that she is a miracle. She used those words to fuel her in 2019 when she was diagnosed a second time, and it helps her remain grateful.

“I take time to enjoy and celebrate the small things in life,” she said. “Thank God every day, good or bad."

Nunez continued, “I have a journey through faith, and I love giving back to others and supporting them as I have been supported by family, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers. Oh, the joyous stories I can share!”

Nunez knows early detection is key and encourages women to get mammograms. She encourages others to know the warning signs and their risks, to listen to their bodies and be their own advocates.

“It's important to me to share my journey, to give hope, provide support and to let others know you’re not alone,” she said. “Sharing provides knowledge, comfort and inspiration.”

Fort Bend ISD has partnered this year with Kelsey-Seybold’s Mobile Mammography Coach for its employees. The last day to schedule an appointment is Thursday, Oct. 19, when the Coach will be at Marshall High School (1220 Buffalo Run, Missouri City, 77489). Click here to book your appointment.


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