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Oglala woman a cancer survivor after 53 years

Shirley Fresquez, a 69-year-old member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, was only 16 when she was told she would die within a year.

Fresquez was attending a boarding school near the Pine Ridge Reservation when she discovered a lump in her neck in 1957. She found out it was cancer and she underwent a series of treatments and surgeries.

Fifty-three years later, Fresquez is one of the oldest cancer survivors. She has had three recurrences but always maintains a positive outlook.

“I go to the bathroom and look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m the best one in my family,’” Fresquez tells The Rapid City Journal. “You’ve gotta believe in yourself.”

Get the Story:
Woman a 53-year cancer survivor (The Rapid City Journal 6/25)