FIU student battling brain cancer helping child cancer patients as she nears graduation

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A student getting ready to graduate from Florida International University is helping other cancer patients while battling an aggressive form of brain cancer herself.

Bianca Maderal, 22, was diagnosed with one of the rarest and most aggressive forms of stage 3 brain cancer when she was 18. The disease is typically found in people between 30 and 50 years old.

Doctors found eight tumors in her brain. However, Maderal was determined not to be afraid of cancer and went on to graduate from high school and from Miami Dade College while undergoing treatment.

During these milestones, Maderal created the nonprofit Fight Like a Kid, which sends care packages to hospitals with pediatric cancer units. The organization also sets up fundraisers for research and clinical trials.

“I was inspired to show other kids that they could defeat this battle,” Maderal said. “I feel like I was assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved. I want someone to look at me and say, ‘Because of you I didn’t give up.'”

“In my eyes, it’s cancer’s turn to be afraid,” she added.

Among the things Maderal’s organization does is host parties for patients in the hospital and organizes toy drives for child patients. Maderal said this year, she plans to dress up as an elf and pass gifts out to cancer patients at Niklaus Children’s Hospital

“Being able to put a smile on their face means more to me than winning the lottery,” Maderal said.

Maderal is set to graduate from FIU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. However, Maderal, who is still undergoing cancer treatment, will also be preparing care packages for child cancer patients.

Maderal said that now that her treatment is going well, she wants to continue her education and become a pediatric oncologist, all while continuing to run her nonprofit.

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