September 30, 2022
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Susanna Gloria, who was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in March, stands with part of her support team – her kids – during Saturday’s kickball tournament in Muleshoe hosted by her friends to raise money for her medical expenses. From left: Alina Elizarraraz, Brittney Cabrera, Gracie Elizarraraz, Susanna “Nana” Gloria, Nate Cabrera and Daniel Tinajero (Brittney Cabrera’s fiance) 

Ellysa Harris/Muleshoe Journal

Susanna “Nana” Gloria has always been independent. She’s a tough, hard-working, single mom who always goes above and beyond for her family and friends.

Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer back in March, her loved ones have spent recent months working to the favor.

The mother of four (plus an almost-official-son-in-law) visited a Lubbock doctor in January after finding a lump on her breast.

“I was hoping it was a cyst,” said Gloria, a Muleshoe native.

The day she did her first scans, the radiologist told her he’d been in the business long enough to recognize the imaging and it looked like cancer.

She braced herself for the news and on March 8, after a few more tests, it was officially determined that Gloria has stage 2 breast cancer.

“We were very heartbroken,” Goya Franco said of the day she and three other friends of Gloria heard the news.

They immediately began thinking of ways to help.

It was Lore Marrufo who initially came up with the idea to host a kickball tournament with all the proceeds going to help Gloria. Kickball is easy to learn, easy to play and easy to adapt for all ages. Together, Marrufo, Franco, Natasia Olivarez and Carolina Reglado worked to smooth out the logistics.

“We had so much input,” Goya said.

When they had it all planned out, Franco said they cautiously approached Gloria with their idea and were relieved to learn she was in favor of it. In the end, all the concession stand food was donated and participation in the tournament exceeded expectations.

They spent the weekend at Babe Ruth Park running a concession stand and overseeing 14 teams of 10 to 12 people. The tournament was originally supposed to be one day but was extended due to participation.

Standing just outside the fence of one of the ball fields where her son’s kickball team was playing, Gloria said she was shocked to learn how many people signed up. She and her loved ones have been “speechless” at the outpouring of love they’ve received.

Besides helping with financials, Gloria’s friends hoped to show her they’re walking the journey with her.

And there’s still a long way to go. The 40-year-old is nearing the end of her first round of treatments before surgery to remove the mass. After surgery, her medical team will reassess and decide if she needs additional treatment rounds.

Brittney Cabrera, Gloria’s oldest daughter, said the family is focused right now on taking things day by day. She reiterated her mom’s words about being pleasantly surprised by the community support.

Though the tournament is over, other fundraisers are still ongoing including several raffles and a GoFundMe account listed under “fighting back fund.”

“We live in a wonderful town with wonderful people,” Gloria said. “Everyone here has proven to me that you’re never alone.”

Ellysa Harris

Muleshoe Journal

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