Sigma Alpha hosting “Walk for Rosemary” charity walk Feb. 18

Rosamaria Meza Charity 5K walk - Feb. 18, 8:30am(February 14, 2017) -- The Fresno State Sigma Alpha sorority is hosting the "Walk for Rosemary" charity walk fundraiser at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 to support its member and senior agricultural education student Rosamaria Meza in her battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer.

The 5K campus walk is scheduled to start at the Free Speech Area next to the Henry Madden Library, and those interested are ask to sign up in advance at bit.ly/FS17-meza-walk.

Besides collecting sponsored pledges from donors, individual donations will also be accepted at the event, too.

After enrolling at Fresno State as a freshman in the fall of 2012, the Caruthers native was on the path to becoming an agriculture teacher before being diagnosed with the rare bone cancer in 2014.

After surgery and a year of chemotherapy treatment, the cancer went into remission and was followed by eventual cancer-free tests for approximately one and half years.

However, after a positive test last October revealed the cancer’s return, she underwent a biopsy and chemotherapy-related surgery in November. She began a new chemotherapy program in early December, but was still able to finish her final exams with cooperation from Fresno State professors. This spring, she is taking two online classes and is only five classes away from graduation.

Her recent tests the past month have showed reductions in the size of cancer by the chemotherapy, although she is currently in Valley Children’s hospital receiving a 10-day cycle of antibiotics to combat a fever and help reduce bacteria levels in her blood.

Barring other illness, her chemotherapy treatments are tentatively scheduled on three-week cycles through the early fall of 2017. The cycle includes a five-day hospital stay that includes five days of chemotherapy followed by two weeks as an out-patient where she returns twice each week for additional chemotherapy treatments.

“Some days are better than others, and it just depends on the day,” Meza said. “The members from the sorority, Fresno State Poultry Club and Alpha Zeta (honorary agriculture fraternity) have been really supportive and given me so much love. I’m really lucky to get treatment at Valley Children’s since I’m 22 years old. The doctors, surgeons and nurses are really wonderful, and I’ve been very blessed.”

Meza chose Fresno State partly based on being close to home, and has continued to follow an agricultural career path after a busy FFA high school career at Caruthers High School. She participated on its floral judging team and showed sheep, goats and pigs at its local fair and the Big Fresno Fair. She also received the FFA ‘American’ degree, the organization’s highest level of certification, which requires the equivalency of 540 hours or three years of secondary-school ag education and other requirements.

To learn more about her story and see updates on her health, visit her Facebook page “Life's a Battle, so Fight on”