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Calista is a very caring 18-year-old, who believes family is everything. She loves to spend time with family and friends, traveling and focusing on her fashion studies. Calista is a heartfelt young lady who tackles her struggles head on. She shows persistence, strength and kindness in whatever she does.
She was plagued by horrible migraines and extreme fatigue as a sophomore in high school. After being placed on home school instruction and visiting multiple medical specialists, she was diagnosed with differentiated thyroid cancer at 15-years-old. She was given a full thyroidectomy and multiple cancerous lymph nodes were removed. Soon after, she had to undergo radioactive iodine treatment. She was placed on thyroid hormone medication at age 15 and will have to continue taking it for the rest of her life.
After constant monitoring of her scans and monthly blood work, she still did not feel well and was forced to go on home school instruction once again during her junior year in high school. The specialists informed us that her cancer remained and she would have to be continually monitored as her cancer cells may be displaced. In the spring of her senior year of high school, she underwent a second thyroid surgery and had scar tissue removed containing more positive lymph nodes. Currently, she is a college student in New York City and is still considered to have chronic thyroid cancer cells somewhere within her body that specialists are monitoring.
Calista's dreams include graduating college with a Bachelor's Degree in fashion merchandising and a concentration in design. She would love to open up her own couture dress shop and hopes to sell her own designs. She plans on living a healthy and happy life which would be full of travel and devoting her time to volunteering.
Calista is her mother’s hero since she always thinks of others and is grateful for all the support her family has provided during these past four years of medical procedures, tests and healthcare. She is very brave and never complains while dealing with the discomfort her medical condition causes. Calista is always respectful and kind to her medical professionals. She is a beautiful person inside and out.
She wants others to know that although you may feel like the world is crashing around you and that life seems unfair, you are never alone in this. Keeping your head up with a positive outlook on life changes not only your perspective, but also reinforces your strength and faith through your journey.
Calista believes Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation is an important component in researching for a cure and supporting patients, survivors and their families through creative and interactive outlets to strengthen the bond and brighten their lives through friendship. Calista is so grateful to have found this Foundation and to be a part of this new family.
Hero Quote: "She turned her can'ts into cans, and her dreams into plans." – Calista
Information provided by Darleen Bourinaris, Calista’s mother
Updated June 2017
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