Nine Relays, Two Remissions Later, Survivor Perseveres


Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Cancer survivor Sharon Warren and her son Julian Manuelito participate in the Relay For Life in Gallup on Friday evening, June 16.

Published June 25, 2017

GALLUP, NEW MEXICO – “I was a new one when I went to my first Relay for Life. I was only six months,” Sharon Warren, a survivor of pancreatic cancer, said.

Warren was diagnosed with Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in the winter of 2008. She was given a survival rate of about 5 percent.

“You think you’re going to die. That’s what I thought immediately,” Warren said. “But it’s been nine years. I’m a survivor and here I am.”

Warren fought cancer for four years and on June 16, 2010, she was told her cancer was in remission. Then, in February of this year she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to undergo surgery.

Now, a few months later, she is once again in remission.

Currently, Warren is part of Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment as a member of their advisory committee.

Through her volunteer work, she has been able to give support to other survivors and is helping organize a conference centered around cancer survivors.

Warren’s battle with cancer began in the Crownpoint Healthcare Facility. After being shuffled from one hospital to the next she was finally diagnosed at Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services.

After a second opinion at another facility, it was confirmed that Warren had pancreatic cancer.

After her diagnosis, she went to the New Mexico Cancer Center in Gallup. Warren gave her paperwork to the staff and said, “I know I’m going to die.”

She immediately burst into tears.

“I was looking at death,” Warren said.

Warren transferred her treatment to the New Mexico Cancer Center in Albuquerque. At the time, she was a chapter official in Coyote Canyon, New Mexico, and wanted to have more privacy.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Navajo Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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