Fita de Rojas (Nery Castañeda de Rojas) 
was born in Santa Clara, Cuba on May 30,1930.

Her fear of breast cancer began at the early 
age of 9 by the devastating loss of her mother. 

For her breast cancer was not if, it was when. 
In 1967 she with her husband and two sons migrated to Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

In 1974 her fear came like most, a lump. 
The diagnose came back positive, it was an aggressive strand of breast cancer. 
The operation was very evasive removing 
the entire breast, the overlying skin, 
the muscles beneath the breast, 
and the lymph nodes. 
Followed by strong radiation treatments 
burning and scarring the flesh.

In the 1970’s the 10-year survival rate for women diagnosed with localized breast cancer was less than 25%.

Three years later, the aggressive cancer returned and created the same havoc on the other side of 
her body. After recovering from her second battle, Nery’s two older sisters were diagnosed with the same disease – it took them both. 

Her biggest fear was never 
how she would deal with cancer or how disfigureing it would be. Her fear was having breast cancer rob her ability to raise her sons. Nery won her fight an saw her boys grow up to become men, marry and create families of their own. 

Sadly, after being cancer-free for 20 years, 
cancer returned, but this time in the lungs 
and it had mastasized to the bones. 

She succumbed to it in 1998, but not before enjoying the lives of all her 5 grandchildren. 

–Gustavo her youngest son, the artist.