Diana Maksymowicz, a 44-year-old basic skills instructor from New Jersey, has endured a string of health battles dating back to Feb. 21, 2019, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The single mother of two had her right breast removed in April 2019 and also underwent intense radiation and chemotherapy. Come December, Maksymowicz was cancer-free.
But late last month, she fell ill again when she began exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
“We were originally told that she probably had either COVID-19 or strep throat,” Julianna Grossi Wisse, a family friend of Maksymowicz, told the Daily Voice.
After Maksymowicz was admitted to Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, doctors diagnosed her not with the novel coronavirus — but with leukemia.
Now, Maksymowicz is once again enduring rigorous rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatment.
“She’s out of work for at least eight months, and she’ll have to go through all this again,” said Wisse.
A GoFundMe page has been launched to raise money for Maksymowicz's medical costs, as well as her household bills and to help care for her daughters. As of Thursday morning, the page has raised over $12,000.
"She has endured more treatments and surgeries than anyone should ever have to experience, and she has a long road ahead," the page says. "Yet through it all, she has been a fighter and a survivor. Her strength and courage are inspirational."
Wisse told the Daily Voice that she has been caring for Maksymowicz's daughters, Sia, 5, and Jerika, 2, who she is unable to see while in the hospital.
"I adore them like a grandmother,” she said. “You do what you have to do.”
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