Anthony Linares: Inspired and Thriving
What does it mean to be a survivor? To 22-year-old Anthony Linares, it means that he is well-equipped and strong enough to overcome anything that life may present.
“As a brain cancer survivor, I have been through some very scary and painful experiences,” explains Anthony. “Those experiences shaped me into the person that I am today.”
Now, Anthony works at Starbucks, and as of January 2021, he will be attending the registered nursing (RN) program at Fresno City College. His goal is to pass the two-year program and begin his career as an RN, inspired by his own nurses at Valley Children’s.
“I remember my nurse, Jessica, who took the time to listen to my feelings, and to share her own story as a cancer survivor as she escorted me outside in a wheelchair so I could get some fresh air and escape my hospital bed,” Anthony shares. “I also remember Jennifer, who spent time with me on her lunch break at 3 a.m., telling me stories about her life, and showing pictures of her pets and family during sleepless nights at the hospital. When I become an RN, I want to be just like Jessica and Jennifer. I want to go above and beyond the scope of nursing.”
When Anthony isn’t studying or working, he enjoys playing his guitar, working out and surfing. His love of surfing actually originated from attending the Valley Children’s Childhood Cancer Survivorship event, Surfing for Hope.
What advice would Anthony give to the pediatric cancer patients still fighting? He says he would share lyrics from “Before the Morning” by Josh Wilson, a song that got him through some of his most difficult times in the hospital:
"Would you dare, would you dare to believe, that you still have a reason to sing. Cause the pain that you've been feeling, it can't compare to the joy that's coming. So hold on you got to wait for the light, press on and just fight the good fight. Cause the pain that you've been feeling, it's just the dark before the morning."
Click here to read more stories from Childhood Cancer Survivorship Program participants.