4
February
#WorldCancerDay
#WeCanICan

Catalina, Spain

All stories

Cancer is not the end of the road, it can be a new beginning

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My name is Catalina and I am a 3rd year medicine student and a professional cake decorator and sugar flowers teacher.

My story begins exactly 4 years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast and skin cancer. 

At that time, I was leading a normal, healthy life and no one from my family had cancer. So when I found out what was happening to me I was in shock.

After some time crying and feeling lost, and after two weeks of checking my health, I finally understood that I do have cancer and I will have to face it.

So, I decided to fight and win it, no matter how hard that would be.

My husband and family have been a great help, they stood by me all the time during the process. I had a quadrantectomy to my left breast, then chemo and radiotherapy. Then, as the doctors saw I was at risk, I underwent brachytherapy too. 

When I started the chemo treatment I began to experience loss of sensation in both hands, so my oncologist advised me to do things with my hands to help avoid this.

This was when my miracle started. I discovered sugar crafts and started to make sugar flowers.

At first, it began just as therapy, then it became a hobby, which then turned into my job and my life.

Now I work full time as a cake decorator. Over the past few years, I have won several awards, including:

  • Gold award and first prize at BCN&Cakes 2015 sugar flowers Competition (Spain ) 
  • Merit certificate at Cake International Birmingham 2015 (UK)
  • Silver medal and second prize at ExpoGato Marseille 2016 (France)
  • Bronze medal at Cake International Birmingham (B Class sugar flowers) 2016
  • Silver medal at Cake International Birmingham (C Class sugar flowers) 2016
  • Finalist of Edible Artists Global Awards 2016( the final will take place in Hong Kong in December 2016)

It hasn't been easy. Together with fighting cancer, I have had to deal with several health problems, including having two stent procedures for my aorta. But that was not enough to stop me.

I still have to continue treatment for two more years before I can say I am cancer free. I will keep fighting and I hope people can see that winning is a question of willing and fight. It is not easy, but it is possible. 

Discovering sugar crafts changed my life and is helping me to win the fight against cancer. But I can say too that if I didn't have cancer I would never have become who I am today.

Cancer was not the end of my road, but a new beginning for me: I started to study medicine, I started my career as cake decorator, now I teach sugar flowers all arround the world. And, I want to help others with my story. Help them to get strength and keep fighting for life.

That is my story, and it doesn't end here...I have so much to do! 

Big sweet hugs and kisses 

Catalina

Visit Catalina's website and Facebook page to see all of her sugar craft creations.