We'd like you to meet a past camper of ours and true inspiration, Raina Stroescu. She's a 2019 graduate and plays forward for the Dallas Texans. In July of 2015, Raina was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a few weeks before her freshman year of high school. She underwent extensive treatment that included chemotherapy and radiation. She never gave up hope and eventually beat the disease. She's a positive influence on everyone she's met and we're proud to share her story.
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Matt: "Hi, it's Matt with EXACT. I hope you're having a great week. I came across a truly inspiring story about one of our past campers, so I wanted to share it with you. In July 2015, Raina was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. She's since gone on to make a full recovery and dreams of playing college soccer. She plays at a very high level with the Dallas Texans in the ECNL. Let's hear her story."
Raina: "Hey guys, I'm Raina Stroescu. I'm 2019 forward for the Dallas Texans, ECNL. I started playing soccer when I was about five years old for my school team, they were called the princesses.
So, the summer going into my freshman year of high school, I was diagnosed with cancer. I always kind of thought, "that's not gonna happen to me." When I did hear that, I was in complete shock... Yeah, it was really hard to hear that.
So, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 of Hogkins Lymphoma, and I had to do 2 rounds of chemo. And one round is over a month. You don't feel different right after or when you're getting the medicine in, but you start to feel it and you start to feel really just icky and tired and nauseous and you don't really want to be around people.
I think honestly the hardest part for me was surprisingly losing my hair. Yeah, going into a new high school freshman year, losing my hair, being new. That was probably socially and mentally, the hardest part of treatment.
I really do think that from overcoming cancer I am more confident in what I do and I think that I'm able that to really accomplish anything I can put my mind to. And, a lot of the things that I see differently in the world - a lot of things I used to get upset about or get bothered by, you know just get worked up about and now I don't. Really, it's just not worth it. I just think there's so many other things to be thankful for and so many more things to exert your energy towards that you know that are really important in your life.
The first time getting back on the field, I was pretty nervous just cause I knew the kind of player I was before and my capabilities and obviously that changed being out 2-3 months, so it was frustrating because I wasn't used to that and definitely my fitness was way off, not where it needed to be.
So, now that it's been 2 years cancer free, soccer is really at an all time high for me right now. I worked myself back up to being the player I used to be and even better. I'm playing ECNL and that's a huge accomplishment for me, just, you know, being able to push myself to be the player I used to be and really get better every day and work through it, so.
I used meditation and breathing to overcome my nausea and my sickness and yeah, I can definitely thank EXACT Camp for that because it kept me from throwing up. And continuing to feel bad, so.
My goals for the future would be to play college soccer. I definitely want to play D1 or D2 and I hope to major in medicine."