My name is Franchesca Alvarado, I’m 36 years old, I live in Bakersfield, California, I’m a hairstylist and I’ve been married 7yrs.
I met my husband Gabe back in 2006 at Randolph's nightclub. He became my mechanic and friend we started dating August 2011 and married that November. Gabe came with 2 boys Julian 6 & Andrew 4.
We decided to try for a baby and we couldn’t get pregnant. I started seeing fertility specialists and discovered i had endometriosis. I later underwent 3 procedures that could help me get pregnant. Nothing happened. I gave up and accepted that I would only be a mother to my 2 sons. We continued to try for 2 years. I had friends who would share secrets on how to get pregnant but nothing ever worked. Until one day my coworker said she had some birth control and I should take it to see if it could jump start my hormones. So I did for 2 weeks. Then I stopped, and boom I got pregnant with my daughter FAITH! I took a test at work with all my co workers and was ecstatic.
I delivered a healthy 8 pound baby girl on August 2nd 2014. I was blessed to stay home with Faith & make my own schedule doing hair till she was 3, and eventually decided to enroll her in pre school. Faith was in school for about 3 weeks when she came home with a fever. The fever wouldn’t break so i made an appointment with her doctor with Kaiser Urgent care at 8pm that night.
We were so worried that Gabe and I left our lights on, TV on, In n Out trash still on our counter. We thought we would be back fast with antibiotics. Dr. Yang saw faith and did every test you could imagine and finally looked at her blood work. We sat in a small room with faith in Gabe’s arms, lifeless…she was exhausted from crying, getting poked in her arms because her tiny veins we're hard to find. The doctor warned us that she was looking for a viral infection or something more serious.
She returned and said, “I think she has Leukemia. I’ve only been wrong twice. I need you guys to rush to Memorial hospital. Can you drive?”
I sat and sobbed while Gabe left the room to the lobby with Faith in his arms. I managed to get myself together with Dr. Yang consoling me and met Gabe out front and we rushed to the hospital. From there we we're taken by ambulance to Kaiser Hollywood just me n faith in the ambulance, and Gabe followed behind with my nephew driving him. We met with a team of oncologists who performed tons of test for 3 days. My whole family was there. They slept in cars waiting for results because no hotels rooms were available.
October 17th Faith was diagnosed with A.L.L. B cell.
Gabe and I modified our lives in a matter of days. I quit working, Gabe got a second job at Target with the help of his sister Sara. We had a family meeting with our sons trying to warn them of whats to come. Gabe drove himself into work, working 40 hours with his position with the City of Bakersfield and adding an additional 30 hours a week with Target.
It strained our marriage deeply, we started to see our flaws in each other that nobody else can understand. We argued how I did everything and he was never home. I would drive every week to LA for Faith’s chemo and doctor visits. Faith was so sick. From vomiting uncontrollably to pooping on herself because the meds were so strong. I was giving her chemo shots directly into her PICC line in her arm.
My baby girl was living Cancer.
I would stroke her hair and globs would be in my hand. I’d quickly hide it without faith seeing it.
My marriage was a train wreck and my sons were worried if their sister was going to die.
I truly felt defeated.
On Christmas 2017 Gabe left our family.
We had all these fancy gifts from wonderful organizations. Gabe was working so hard. We tried to make up with gifts. My boys got Beats by Dre, new flat screen TVs, a lot of fancy gifts that we would never buy.
When we woke Christmas morning Gabe was gone and nowhere to be found.
Gabe finally checked out mentally. He came home late that night and confessed he cant handle seeing his daughter so sick…so he just would work. He was so sorry he left his family. My sons felt that money truly does not buy happiness. They'd give it all back for us to be normal again. We started praying together & felt the holy spirit in us. We believe that the devil was trying to tear us apart but God had better plans for Gabe and I.
We started to build again, slowly like Faith’s health. Faith entered maintenance phase after some big bumps in the road. One of them being that her big toe was almost amputated, to her e.coli blood infection landing her in ICU.
WE FINALLY MADE IT!
Faiths doing great! We visit once a month now, till expected treatment completion date of February 2020.
We’ve had amazing support from Tiger Fight, Second star to the Right, Mediburu Foundation, BPD, and Serenity Legacy. They’ve given us anything from gas cards and gift cards to tons of prayer and love. My friends would send us pizza and drop off dinners. My cousins ministry came to clean my house and declutter. I had given my family my code to my front door to come and go as they pleased because seeing anybody would give us joy.
I believe God gave Faith cancer to save our family.
Now were beyond closer than ever, each and every one of us. We take birthdays pretty serious now and all the small things that would upset us aren’t a big deal anymore.
It is unfortunate that we don’t have more pediatric care in Bakersfield. If Faith were to get a fever…I have to gas up my SUV and rush to Hollywood. With packed bags, just in case we have to stay.
I’m definitely more humble these days. I take the time to listen to others because you truly don’t know what someone’s walked in life. I feel stronger as a woman. I find myself getting more tattoos…I guess as an artistic way to express myself.
Thank you all for reading and my best advice is to pray to the Lord, because he’s always listening.