The return of Marissa Favela

Vrinda Chauhan, Staff Writer

While other players were fighting hard on the soccer field, Diamond Bar junior Marissa Favela was busy fighting cancer. The varsity soccer player’s passion for soccer inspired her to return to the team mid-season this semester.

Favela, a dedicated soccer player since the age of five, has been an accomplished and valuable player on the varsity girls soccer team since her freshman year. However, at the beginning of 2013, Favela said she began experiencing severe stomach pains, which result in occasional hospital visits. Her doctors kept telling her that it was nothing to worry about but Favela was not convinced. Her suspicions grew stronger when she would change clothes and see her stomach bloat. Convinced that something was wrong, Favela insisted on a more thorough inspection.

A few days later, Favela was informed by her doctor that a tumor was inside her stomach. Though Favela was worried and upset, her doctor told her that the matter would be cleared after she went through surgery. This surgery would prevent her from playing soccer for a few weeks, but Favela expected herself to be back on her feet in no time.

Little did she know that the tumor would return a few months later. It was during the checkup of this tumor that she was diagnosed with both ovarian and stomach cancer.

“Everyone was devastated. I knew I wouldn’t be able to play for a very long time and that just really made everything worse,” Favela said.

In order to recover, Favela was forced to take most of junior year’s first semester. During this time period, she stayed at the Children’s Hospital in Pomona to undergo chemotherapy for up to five days at a time. She went through four sessions of chemotherapy in total, and stayed at home to recover for two weeks before going back to school.

After her recovery, Favela performance on the field remained the same, if not better. Her proudest moment, she described, was during the CIF game against Mayfield, when she scored the tying goal at the very last minute to send the game to overtime. She also scored the winning goal.

“I think the most difficult part of all this was watching everyone play and not being able to play myself. As soon as I found out I could play again, I went for it,” Favela said.