9 relays, two remissions later, survivor perseveres

9 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.


“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.

 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

Are you a digital subscriber? Read the most recent three weeks of stories by logging in to your online account.

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.

About The Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah