Learn more about our services and programs through those who have benefited from them, our local survivors.
Meet Links for Life Cancer Survivor Gabriela Vasquez
Share with us, a little bit about yourself, family, etc.
My Name is Gabriela Vasquez. I have lived in Bakersfield almost my entire life. I hold a degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Accounting. I currently help manage the family business and hope to someday take it over alongside my siblings. I am happily married to my best friend and have two beautiful boys. I was diagnosed with breast cancer February of this year and am currently kicking cancers butt!!! What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger, right?!
What helped keep your spirits up and gave you support during this period?
Having cancer is definitely no walk in the park, but it sure helps to have amazing family and friends. I truly don’t know where I would be today without God and all of them. I received numerous prayer blankets from my church community and never sat alone at one chemo. I had family drive 2-3 hours just to sit with me while undergoing chemo, only to turn around after and drive back home. I also had many individuals bring my family dinner so that my family and I didn’t have to worry about cooking. Words can’t even begin to express the amount of gratitude that I have for every individual that stood in my corner cheering me on.
Share with us, your connection to Links for life – how did you learn about our organization?
After learning that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer, my dear friend and mentor, Rita, invited me to attend a Links for Life meeting. After attending my first meeting, I left feeling at ease and a great sense of assurance that everything would be okay. The Young Survivors Group had me crying and laughing the whole time, especially Carrie! She’s a character. From there the rest is history, they are stuck with me FOREVER!!!
Something that people would be surprised to know…
I’m an actual fool, an April fool, that is…okay, maybe a little bit of both. I was born on April fools day, and I’ve been playing pranks on my loved ones since day one. I was pronounced dead at birth, due to my umbilical cord being wrapped around my neck; however, my dad refused to accept that nothing more could be done and grabbed the first doctor he found in the hall. Luckily for me, and all of you, of course, that doctor resuscitated me, and well here I am! Can you guys imagine a world without Gaby? Ya, me either!
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met…
The most interesting individual I have met is my mother. Although my mother experienced many hardships as a child and has no formal education, she has shown my siblings and I that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. She is the smartest and hardest working individual I know!
What is your favorite thing to do in Bakersfield?
My favorite thing to do in Bakersfield is hang out with my family.
Most recent indulgence?
My most recent indulgence has been lash extensions. After losing my lashes because of chemo my cousin gifted me a certificate for lash extensions as a gift for completing my 1st phase of chemo. If you’ve never gotten lash extensions you are missing out! Oh and coffee…I love coffee, but then again who doesn’t?
On the weekend you can find me…
On the weekend you are most likely to find me out on the soccer field cheering for my son Damian. I never saw myself as a “soccer mom,” but here I am. Soccer now consumes most of my family’s free time. Go Galaxy, #12!
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
My favorite holiday tradition would have to be Thanksgiving. Every year, since I can remember, my family gathers the Saturday after Thanksgiving to give thanks and to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. This year will be extra special, as we will be celebrating her 100th birthday!!!
In 2018, I am looking forward to…
A healthier ME! I now live every minute like it’s my last, not because it is, but because life’s too short to sweat the small stuff! I also look forward to the arrival of my niece and Goddaughter Penélope.
Finally, do you have a message for other women in the community?
My one message to women of the community is to be your own advocate when it comes to your personal health. Always trust your gut! Doctors are human, just like everyone else, and they make mistakes too. When it comes down to it, only you know your body and what’s normal for you.