Five years ago, doctors in Guayaquil, Ecuador, misdiagnosed a tumor in Michelle Gallego’s skull as benign. After numerous surgeries, the tumor remained, causing her to be blind and nearly deaf. To help take care of her, her mother, Johanna, was forced to quit her job. In contrast, her father, Ricardo, would frequently walk home from work, delaying the situation that awaited him.
Their relationship was put to a test when she was diagnosed, with such concerns as they might have to sell their home in order to pay for her treatment. Over time, Michelle’s cancer brought her family together to help fight this battle. With deep roots in religion, Michelle considered her tumor a test of her own strength from God. On Dec. 17, 2015, Michelle died.