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Ivan Najera conquers cancer

Conquered+notes+%5C%5C++Focusing+on+his+music%2C+junior+Ivan+Najera+plays+a+movement+from+his+marching+band+show.+The+band%E2%80%99s+show+this+year+is+entitled+Conquered+featuring+music+from+The+Prince+of+Egypt+and+The+Wind+and+the+Lion.+Najera+missed+over+60+days+of+rehearsal+due+to+fighting+cancer+but+still+managed+to+learn+the+show+music.+%E2%80%9CI+really+enjoy+playing+music+from+movies+I+watched+as+a+child%2C+and+it%E2%80%99s+a+lot+more+fun+than+last+year%E2%80%99s%2C%E2%80%9D+Najera+said.%0A
Conquered notes \\  Focusing on his music, junior Ivan Najera plays a movement from his marching band show. The band’s show this year is entitled Conquered featuring music from The Prince of Egypt and The Wind and the Lion. Najera missed over 60 days of rehearsal due to fighting cancer but still managed to learn the show music. “I really enjoy playing music from movies I watched as a child, and it’s a lot more fun than last year’s,” Najera said.

Conquered notes \\ Focusing on his music, junior Ivan Najera plays a movement from his marching band show. The band’s show this year is entitled Conquered featuring music from The Prince of Egypt and The Wind and the Lion. Najera missed over 60 days of rehearsal due to fighting cancer but still managed to learn the show music. “I really enjoy playing music from movies I watched as a child, and it’s a lot more fun than last year’s,” Najera said.

photo credit: Enoch Olajimi

photo credit: Enoch Olajimi

Conquered notes \\ Focusing on his music, junior Ivan Najera plays a movement from his marching band show. The band’s show this year is entitled Conquered featuring music from The Prince of Egypt and The Wind and the Lion. Najera missed over 60 days of rehearsal due to fighting cancer but still managed to learn the show music. “I really enjoy playing music from movies I watched as a child, and it’s a lot more fun than last year’s,” Najera said.

Enoch Olajimi, Staff Reporter

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He was in his room when he learned the news. He couldn’t wrap his head around it. All he knew was that his life would not be the same anymore. In late March, junior Ivan Najera was diagnosed with leukemia. Miraculously, Najera was pronounced cured in September and has now returned to his normal life.

During his battle, Najera faced many different hardships. His immune system was weakened, preventing any contact with the outside world.

“The hardest thing for me wasn’t even the treatment but being isolated from my family and friends,” junior Najera said.

I would gain 20 pounds in a month and lose it a few weeks later. My hair began to thin and change color.”

— Ivan Najera, junior

Najera also went through changes in his appearance.

“I would gain 20 pounds in a month and lose it a few weeks later. My hair began to thin and change color,” Najera said.

He often felt weak but continued to fight, he had something that kept him going.

“It was the desire to see my friends and family again and my faith that kept me going. I would have given up if it weren’t for them.”

Najera had the support of many people: his church members, family, the band, and his friends.

“They always visited me, making sure I was okay and not dying of boredom” Najera joked.

A few months later, Najera was in his room when he received an unexpected call from his doctor.

“I heard him say I was free of cancer and I felt relieved; I no longer had to worry about whether I would live a normal life again.”

Najera was not the only one elated by the news.

“I felt a joy that I can’t really explain, I just hugged him,” said sophomore Gael Ducoing, one of Najera’s close friends.

Now as Najera returns to school, he faces new challenges like catching up with all the academic material he missed during his battle.

“I’m excited for school, but catching up in all my classes is hard, especially in band. Now that I’m back, I have to get my [lips] back. I barely touched my trumpet when I had cancer.”

The three month-long battle gave Najera a new outlook on life and he is ready to take advantage of this second chance at life.

“I’ve learned to appreciate everything in my life more and to not take any day for granted,” Najera said,  “you never know what will come tomorrow.”

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About the Contributor
Enoch Olajimi, Staff Reporter

“If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation.” Just like you’ve heard that commercial, you’ve probably heard my last name before. My name is Enoch Olajimi (pronounced Ee-nok Oh-luh-jimmy). I’m the fourth Olajimi to walk through this school, but not the last. I have two smart, younger siblings who are currently in junior high. I am a French horn player and the band’s vice president. I have a desire to one day march in Drum Corp International and to pursue a career in business. I enjoy watching sports and trying out different foods from different places. Even though I’m a junior, this is my first year being a part of newspaper staff. And as the staff’s only male, I feel I have a lot to bring to the male audience.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Ivan Najera conquers cancer”

  1. Sarai on September 25th, 2018 2:40 pm

    aww…I’m glad he’s better. I was praying for him.

  2. Haley Ford on September 25th, 2018 2:41 pm

    so glad to see he’s doing better!

  3. Zoe Villegas on September 25th, 2018 2:41 pm

    Ivan is such a good trumpet player and a really nice guy. Proud of him! POTE

  4. Blair on September 25th, 2018 2:42 pm

    Really great first story! You’re killing it on staff this year!

  5. Stacy Maxwell on September 25th, 2018 2:42 pm

    So proud of you, Ivan!

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