Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
College/School: School of Integrated Science and Humanity, College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Bianca Maderal was in her high school Spanish class talking to a friend when she suddenly had a seizure. Rushed to the hospital, Bianca underwent hundreds of medical exams, including a 7-inch craniotomy biopsy. The doctors diagnosed her with stage three brain cancer — one of the rarest and most aggressive forms typically found in 30-to-50-year-olds. In her brain, she had eight tumors.
After traveling across the U.S. in search of treatment, Bianca moved to Baltimore for her initial radiation and chemotherapy treatments at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Determined to not be afraid of cancer, Bianca completed high school online and graduated with her class. After eight weeks of treatment at Johns Hopkins, she returned to Miami and enrolled at Miami Dade College. She balanced going to class while undergoing chemotherapy.
In the months after her diagnosis, Bianca created Fight Like A Kid. Through her nonprofit, Bianca sends care packages to hospitals with pediatric cancer units, while organizing fundraisers for research and clinical trials. She also hosts local parties for patients in the hospital and participates in toy drives.
Bianca is graduating with a 3.9 GPA. She’s also a member of Psi Chi, Phi Beta Kappa and the Golden Key Honor Society.
Today, seven of Bianca’s eight tumors are gone. After graduation, she wants to attend FIU’s new program in natural and applied sciences and dreams of becoming a pediatric oncologist to help children battling cancer. She also wants to continue her work with Fight Like A Kid.
By Nathalie Medina
Junior Account Manager,
College of Arts, Sciences & Education