02 May Angela Rose Giarratana
If I could write a new dictionary, the word fighter would have a picture of Angela next to it. Ever since she was just a little girl she was always over coming something new, she never took no as an answer. Angela Rose Giarratana was raised in a small town north of Kansas City with her mother, father, two sisters and brother. Ang and her siblings always had a special bond. The four of them were always together, whether at one anothers sporting events or doctors appointment they travelled as a pack. Angela was definitely the athletic star of the four. Whether on the basketball court or softball field Ang always was one of the best on the team. She didn’t just excel at sports but also in the class room. Ang was an honor roll student and Stuco President her senior year of school. She was loved by all her classmates, and was elected Homecoming Queen and Prom Queen. Like any other teenage girl, Ang loved to layout at the pool and was always outside in sun playing sports. However skin cancer was never a thought in her mind just like any girl her age. In 2003 Angela started her freshmen year at University of Missouri-Columbia. She decided to study Psychology, hoping to become a counselor. She always loved to help people. The summer of her sophomore year Angela decided to get a mole removed from her wrist that she never liked, but was easily covered by a sweat band or watch. A couple days after she got it removed, a phone call came from the doctor. Ang soon realized that she has stage one melanoma. She went in for surgery soon after and a big cut later Ang was “cancer free”. Angela never tanned again after the surgery and always made sure to wear sunscreen when outside. She went back to school that fall with a new outlook and decided that she wanted to help those going through cancer treatments. Angela graduated and moved back to Kansas City. While back she spent her summer with her sisters and brother with not a worry in her mind. She was planning to attend UMKC graduate program the next fall, and was currently studying to take the GRE. That fall, Angela felt a lump on her side and told her Mom. They were able to get her into the doctor right away. Ang had the lump removed and the results revealed that the cancer was back, but she was ready to fight round two. Angela was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma and the doctors didn’t not predict a good outcome however Ang was ready to fight this battle with all her might. She started chemo and radiation right away. Though her treatments made her physically sick, Angela was always worrying about others and what was going on in their lives, even though everyone was worried about her. When she lost her hair, so did her sisters, when Ang went to M.D. Anderson in Texas for treatments and surgery, so did her family. Angela tried all the latest chemo cocktail treatments but the cancer just kept spreading. During her 8 months of treatments Angela was able to make trips to the ocean and mountains with her family as well as go and see her friends. As bad as she felt, she would never let it interfere with enjoying life. In June of 2009, Angela was in and out of North Kansas City hospital for pain management, while there she was still receiving treatments, because Angela was going to fight this to her very last breathe, and that’s exactly what she did. On June 28th after giving one heck of a fight Angela passed away surrounded by her family and close friends. Though Angela lost her battle to cancer, her dream of helping those going through what she did lives on. Her friends and family tell her story everyday to bring awareness and raise money to help find a cure for melanoma.