They would never give up the fight to beat the cancer that could have killed her.
Adrian, a sixth-grader, surprised everyone recently with a letter written as part of a class assignment at Moreno Middle School.
The idea for the letter came about in October when he was given an assignment by his teacher to write a letter.
His first thought was a letter asking for a Christmas gift.
“I can do better than that,” Adrian thought. “Then I thought about my mom and how she had cancer.”
The emotions of that diagnosis in February 2009 came pouring back.
“When my mom was telling me about the cancer, me and her made an agreement that no matter what happened, we wouldn’t give up,” he said.
His mother, Cynthia Tapia, was diagnosed with breast cancer on Feb. 13, 2009.
“My mom came home and she told me we would fight this together and never give up no matter what happens,” Adrian wrote in that letter.
His mother went in for surgery one month later.
“We woke up at 5 in the morning so that we could drive to Corpus Christi for my mom’s surgery,” he wrote. “We waited in the waiting room for an hour. During that hour, my aunts, uncles and cousins arrived. Then finally they called my mom and took her into surgery...
“My grandma told me that my mom’s first words when she got out of surgery were, ‘Where is Adrian?’ and ‘Can I see my son, please?’”
His grandmother, Elivara Hernandez, said that Adrian has matured beyond his years because of this.
“He is more responsible,” she said. “He looks at things differently.
“He appreciates life more.”
His mother added, “I didn’t think that a 12-year-old could understand that much. He was really involved and concerned with what was going on with me.”
Elivara said that the cancer was a shock as no one in their family had been diagnosed before.
“He didn’t know what cancer was,” she said. “This was new to all of us.”
Throughout the year, Cynthia has undergone chemotherapy treatments to kill any remaining cancer cells after her surgery.
“One of the things that help us though all of this is that we are not alone, because we made a pact to participate in Relay for Life,” Adrian wrote.
“On May 3, 2009, my mom and I walked at Relay for Life here in Beeville and later in Wharton. Her team was called ‘It’s All About Pink.’
“This summer my mom told me that we won’t have the vacation this year as we have had before. I told her I don’t need to go to Six Flags or other places to have fun as long as I had my mom. Having my mom is the greatest gift I have ever had.”
Adrian and his family will be back at Relay for Life again this year.
Luminarias will be lighted during an uplifting ceremony at A.C. Jones High School’s Veterans Memorial Stadium. The Relay begins Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 7 a.m., with team members taking turns jogging or walking around the track.
Organizers encouraged residents to come join this special event and pay tribute to a loved one who has been lost to, has beaten or is currently battling cancer. Luminarias may be purchased at Schulz and Wroten Pharmacy for $5 each.
Proceeds from the event will help support the American Cancer Society, which is dedicated to education, patient services and research to find a cure for cancer.
Adrian said he plans to walk most of the night, resting only when he can’t take another step.
His mother will be by his side.
“I think he is finding comfort in doing this,” Cynthia said. “Some people find out they have cancer and stop. We haven’t.”
Cynthia said she is proud to walk beside her son.
“Someone dies every minute and it is a cure that we are looking for,” she said.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.