Western Courier

Mota continues to fight

Jasmine Yates, Courier Staff

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For college students, the first semester is usually an exciting time, but for Natalie Mota, the semester did not start off well because she noticed a lump on her neck.

“When I came to Western I saw the bump and then me and my parents decided to get it checked out. For the first couple of months I was being tested and had to travel to Chicago a lot. During this process my bump kept getting bigger and bigger,” Mota said.

Mota went for a cancer scan and her parents mailed the results.

“I had totally forgot that I would be getting the results of my scan in four days,” Mota said. “That weekend my parents came for family weekend. When they came I was so excited to see them. They were crying but I didn’t think anything of it because I had totally forgot and I just thought they were excited to see me. They sat me down and told me I hand Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Early that day I had put on makeup and it was ruined by all of my tears,”

Mota had to leave to get treatment. She didn’t know if she could return or if she could finish school.

“I left that weekend and I just packed one bag, and then my parents went back to get the rest of my stuff because I could not return to WIU and went on medical leave.”

Mota was unprepared for the long stressful process that was ahead of her.

“As soon as I went home I got the lump removed and then underwent chemotherapy. My hair started to fall out and I had no control over it. I had a lot of side effects to the chemo like I had rashes and still have the scars from it.”

After undergoing chemotherapy, Mota decided to lift her spirits up by picking out a new hairdo before returning to Western.

“I went to a place where they specialized in making wigs for people who lost their hair because of chemo or another disease. My insurance did not cover the wig and my parents paid for the expenses. The whole ordeal was physically and financially stressful.”

Not only did she have to deal with cancer, she had to deal with almost not being able to come back to Western to finish school.

“Since I had to leave WIU financial aid took my money away because I never completed the semesters,” Mota said. “Even though I had cancer it didn’t matter. So every semester from now on I have to appeal to get my financial aid. I only have two more appeals available for me to use. I am not sure what I will do if I don’t get the financial aid.”

Life after being deemed cancer free for Mota is still a struggle, especially with the fear of it coming back, and also how it has affected her memory.

“I was shocked when I got cancer but I am also scared that the cancer could come back,” Mota said. “But for right now I just live one day at at time. The aftermath of chemo is that my brain can contain so much information. It affects studying for tests in my classes. But I’m get help from the school and I’m still trying to figure out how I can be successful at school after having cancer.”

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Mota continues to fight