Mari Sampedro-Iglesia’s life changed dramatically when she got the news that her husband Jose was diagnosed with head and neck cancer. She and her two boys Michael and Chris had to find a way to cope with the pain of watching a husband and father undergo surgery and grueling chemotherapy.
Mari penned a memoir called The Heroes Among Us about her family’s struggle with this deadly disease. She hopes that the book might help other families who are battling cancer. “Obviously I would rather not have had to go through with it, but we found that our faith grew and we received a lot of strength from everyone who reached out to us,” said Mari.
The family is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the book to the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. You can help the family and their courageous efforts to raise funds for cancer research by “liking” The Heroes Among Us Facebook Page and buying the book on Amazon.
“When someone is diagnosed with cancer, there are places to turn to regarding what to expect,” said Dr. Matthew Abramowitz with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. “For example, what the pain from the surgery or nausea from chemo or the lasting effects of radiation will be like. However, rarely do you see the ‘complete’ story of a full family’s experience from diagnosis through treatment and early cure described so eloquently. Behind this horrible diagnosis, this is a beautiful story of love, support, faith, family, survival, and God willing, a happy ending.”
I am delighted to report that since his 2010 diagnosis, Jose (also an attorney) is doing well. I have had the pleasure to get to know Judge Sampedro-Iglesia through her capacity as an administrative judge for the Children’s Courthouse and Juvenile Justice Center in Miami. Not only are they dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, Mari and Jose have taken a strong leadership role in efforts to provide assistance to victims of human trafficking. They continue to fight the good fight and are wonderful role models in our community.