Girl with giant facial tumours defies odds by turning 16: ‘I’m just a normal human being’
Experts believed that Jacqueline Rodriguez, who is set to graduate from college next year, would not live for more than a year.
The teenager’s symptoms have left her unable to speak or eat, but she’s determined to fulfil her dreams of becoming a nurse.
Fearing that the baby would have a poor quality of life, some believed that abortion could be the better option.
Mum Evelyn, 52, said: “When I was still pregnant with Jacqueline, doctors were telling us our daughter might not get to see her first birthday.”
Despite this, the teenager has proven professionals wrong by living her life to the full.
Jacqueline was born with lymphatic malformations, an extremely rare condition that leads to tumours.
She has to speak through an iPad and eat through a formula tube, but refuses to let this hold her back.
Not only does she take regular guitar lessons, she’s also a keen tennis player who dreams of studying nursing at Stanford University
Jacqueline’s parents couldn’t be prouder of their daughter.
Her mum said: “She is achieving so much and her self-esteem has truly blossomed – it’s incredible.
“And I just didn’t think we’d be here at this point. I’m so grateful.”
“That little girl just wants to live. Every day she wakes up with a smile on her face and it just encourages you.
“She has been the best thing that happened to us.”
She said: “People normally stare at me and point a lot.
“People do say mean things. It makes me feel sad because they don’t know me enough to say mean things.
“I’m a normal human being. I have health issues like everyone else.”
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