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The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Charity 5K Walk for Rosemary group picture

Sigma Alpha teams up for “Walk for Rosemary” charity walk

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The Fresno State Sigma Alpha sorority hosted one of Fresno State’s most inspiring events of the spring semester when it welcomed 200 people to its "Walk for Rosemary" charity walk fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The 5K walk raised $3,000 towards medical & transportation costs for Fresno State agricultural education senior Rosamaria Meza as she undergoes chemotherapy treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma bone cancer.

After enrolling at Fresno State as a freshman in the fall of 2012, the Caruthers native was on the path to becoming an agriculture teacher before being diagnosed in 2014.

After surgery and a year of chemotherapy treatment, the cancer went into remission and was followed by cancer-free tests for approximately one and half years.

However, after a positive test in October of 2016 revealed the cancer’s return, she underwent a biopsy and chemotherapy-related surgery last November. She began a new chemotherapy program in early December, but was still able to finish her fall final exams with cooperation from Fresno State professors.

In the spring, she received A’s in her three classes while undergoing chemotherapy treatment and another 31 days of radiation treatment in March and April. Doctors saw no sign of the cancer at her most recent CT scan, and she has another scan scheduled in early August.

“Things continue to look good (in late July),” Meza said, “and I’m positive about the future. I’ve had a few temporary setbacks with fevers, bacteria infections or low platelet, hemoglobin or immune system counts that have pushed my chemotherapy cycles back. I still feel tired and have to rest more because some days are better than others, but I’m excited to keep going with my treatment, and hopefully I’ll have no more fevers and stay on schedule.”

Barring other illness, her chemotherapy treatments are tentatively scheduled on three-week cycles. The cycle includes a five-day hospital stay that includes five days of chemotherapy followed by two weeks as an out-patient where she returns twice each week for additional chemotherapy treatments.

A summer highlight at Valley Children’s Hospital was a special birthday celebration that welcomed more than 70 family members, friends and hospital staff.

“I’m really lucky to get treatment at Valley Children’s since I’m 23 years old,” Meza said. “The doctors, surgeons and nurses are really wonderful, and I am so appreciative of everyone's visits, prayers and kind thoughts. Sorority sisters and classmates from the Fresno State Poultry Club and Alpha Zeta (honorary agriculture fraternity) have also been really supportive and given me so much love. They have made a point of arranging to get together for frozen yogurt and coffee in town, which has helped keep my spirits up.”

Meza chose Fresno State partly based on being close to home, and has continued to follow an agricultural career path after a busy FFA high school career at Caruthers High School. She participated on its floral judging team and showed sheep, goats and pigs at its local fair and the Big Fresno Fair. She also received the FFA ‘American’ degree, the organization’s highest level of certification, which requires the equivalency of 540 hours or three years of secondary-school ag education and other requirements.

To learn more about her story, see updates on her health or purchase a T-shirt, visit her Facebook “Life's a Battle, so Fight on” and webpages.