Medical experts believed that Jacqueline Rodriguez from California wouldn’t survive her first year. Here she stands today, 16 years old, challenging the odds and proving her doctors wrong. The amazing teen is ready to graduate from college next year!
Jacqueline has been dealing with an exceptionally unfamiliar tumor called lymphatic malformations. The rare condition has produced gigantic cysts all over her face and chest.
The sixteen-year-old girl speaks with the help of an iPad and eats through a formula tube. Despite all the unfavorable circumstances, she is a tremendous tennis player and is learning to play the guitar! Jacqueline’s severe condition hasn’t stopped her from triumphing her sky-high dreams. It is quite impressive how a girl with such rare condition has managed to flourish in her academics and extracurricular activities.
She told, “Tennis helps with my confidence by knowing that I am strong enough to play a sport.”
Jacqueline Rodriguez told Barcroft TV in an interview, “People normally stare at me and point a lot. People do say mean things. It makes me feel sad because they don’t know me enough to say mean things.”
“I’m a normal human being. I like playing my guitar and playing tennis. I have health issues like everyone else,” she elaborated.
Doctors supposed that Jacqueline would only be a burden to bear and wouldn’t do well in her life. They even suggested to Jacqueline’s mother, Evelyn Belen, to could go for an abortion and get rid of the diseased baby.
But the caring parents, Evelyn and Paul, regardless of all the deficiencies that their daughter carried, welcomed Jacqueline with overwhelming love and affection.
The 52-year-old mother said:
“When I was still pregnant with Jacqueline, doctors were telling us our daughter might not get to see her first birthday. But now she is achieving so much and her self-esteem has truly blossomed – it’s incredible. And I just didn’t think we’d be here at this point. I’m so grateful.”
Jacqueline added, “My parents help me by trying to make my life as normal as possible.”
Doctors have eradicated some of the masses of tumor several times in past; unfortunately, it came back every single time due its regenerating nature.
Since there is no particular way to remove the cysts from Jacqueline’s body, medical experts are now trying to examine and treat the tumor cells with a much simpler approach. The poor girl has already gone through serious pain following her treatment. Now, she really wants relief.
“With the medications that she is on, it seems to have stopped the growth and actually softened her tumor. She is now more capable of facial expressions and seeing because at one point her tumor was encroaching on her right eye.”
“She’s been able to overcome a lot of that and now her tumor has been relaxed a little, she’s been able to feel better,” the mother added.
Paul Rodriguez, aged 60, said, “What’s most rare about it is the mass. Three days after she was born, they took off two almost golf ball-sized tumors from her throat. But she has got so much perseverance. That little girl just wants to live. Every day she wakes up with a smile on her face and it just encourages you.”
“She has been the best thing that happened to us,” added the father.
Even with difficulties in her daily social interactions, the amazing girl still has a lot of close friends who actually care about her.
The teen has, however, struggled through unending torture and pain. Bullying has always been a harsh part of her life.
But, there are two people without whom Jacqueline’s confidence would not have been developed – her elder siblings, Joshua and Anna Belle.
Anna Belle, 19, said: “I can’t believe Jacky is graduating school soon. Good for her! I’m so proud of her with the tennis team and it just makes me happy because she has made so many new friends and they all love her.”
Anna further said, “Jacky is a good example of what everyone should be like. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks and if she sees something she wants to do, you can’t tell her no. She’ll always try her best to accomplish it. She’s very inspiring.”
Jacqueline is optimistic; the daring girl aims to get into Stanford University so that she can become a nurse one day. She explained:
“I want to be a nurse because I grew up in a hospital helping my nurses take care of others,” Jacqueline said.
Her mum and dad lastly described how lucky they are to be Jacqueline’s parents. Evelyn and Paul do not feel sorry for her; instead, they are proud of her. And indeed, Jacqueline is an absolutely brilliant young lady!
Paul finally said: “I feel very comfortable that she will grow up to be successful in anything she does.
He added, “She is the most amazing person I’ve ever known. To come across so many obstacles and still have confidence and perseverance – we’re really proud. She has dreams for the future and she is looking forward to it.”
Evelyn ended the interview saying:
“The future is bright.”