Argelia’s Story: The Ralph Lauren Center Nurses Were Like Family to Me


After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis at age 27, Argelia chose to receive treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Ralph Lauren Center in Harlem. There, she found a welcoming environment to receive her cancer care and a care team that made her and her mother feel like family.

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One day just laying down in my room, I had felt something, and it was pretty hard, and a little like, too big. She did a biopsy right away, and my mom came with me.

We didn't know what the results would be, but we just like something came over us and we both just started crying, because we were just scared.

“Mommy, I have breast cancer.”

It was the worst news of my life. I told her, “Please, take a cab, come here, come here, come home, come.”

I felt like my body had betrayed me. I was thinking, how am I supposed to support myself? You know, as a first timer living alone, paying your own rent, and then getting diagnosed with breast cancer. It was like a slap in the face.

It's hard to go through this process and not knowing anything about your sickness, and you're just trying to figure out who is going to help you. And I was nervous to come, but once I came here, every time I was here, it just felt like a family. I felt the love. I felt the care. I felt the support.

I felt safe to see how they started treating my daughter. From the doctor and how she talked to my daughter and explained to her and explained to me the whole procedure that she was going to go through.

It was really harsh, but I just pushed myself to keep going because it was my coping mechanism. I didn't really want to think about having cancer breast cancer, so I was like, "I have to work."

I know she is a fighter, a warrior. She hasn’t stopped one single day.

The nurses were like family to me. They were there for me every step of the way. Without them, I don't think I would have kept going, especially emotionally and mentally.

The nurses were wonderful.

My mom would bring snacks because she also was like, in love with everyone here. She loved the doctor, the nurses, and it was a form of appreciation because, we both were very, very grateful for the staff.

It’s the best place for cancer treatment. Grateful. Grateful for this place, of the treatment they have given my daughter.

I'm feeling great, I'm almost up to the finish line. I'm just very grateful to be alive, to be able to keep going every single day. To keep my business going. Keep living, living is fun!

Thank you, Ralph Lauren Center, for saving my daughter’s life.

Eternally grateful.

I would like to thank the Foundation, and Ralph Lauren and family, for all their hard work, building this place, hiring the staff, just every piece they've put together to make this place what it is. It's a wonderful family and I salute them for saving our lives.