She's defied the odds, beating cancer twice. Now one local woman takes on a new challenge, hitting the runway during New York's Fashion Week.
More nerve-wracking than any chemo treatment she received, two-time cancer survivor Rebecca Esparza works closely with a non-profit called "Say Yes to Hope", an organization that dedicates their time to working with cancer patients who have been given a terminal diagnosis. As an advocate for the non-profit, she will be one of only a handful chosen to don a dress and jewelry by famous designers, in "The Surviving in Fashion" showcase next week, during New York Fashion Week.
Rebecca says it took her a lot of soul searching to agree to be in the lime light but when she thought of all those fighting cancer, it was an easy decision.
Rebecca said, "I'm mostly doing it for my friends I've lost along the way who are in Heaven now, who were stolen way too young with way too short of a life."
Rebecca's cancer-journey started in 2001 when at the age of 30, she was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. Then five years later, after being ovarian cancer-free. She was hit with more bad news, she had thyroid cancer.
Rebecca said, "It was pretty shocking, everything happening at once. I had a hysterectomy, I didn't have any chance to have children so everything all at once - I felt my world crumbling upon me but a year and a half later, I was cancer-free."
Rebecca says when she was told she only had months to live and defeated those odds, she knew she had to use her experience to help others.
Rebecca's advocacy won't end with fashion week, later on this month she'll be in Washington D.C. meeting with lawmakers. She says her goal is to let them know how important it is to keep cancer funding in place.