Dulcce Valenzuela wasn’t heading to say she would want to go as a result of it once more. But of her diagnosis, battle, and results beating back again most cancers as a teenager, she said, “I wouldn’t alter it for the environment.”

That is for the reason that the George Mason University senior, who will graduate this month with a bioengineering diploma, made use of the episode as a basis for her life’s reason.

“How can I aid other individuals?” she said. “How can I leverage my skills to support any person else?”

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For Valenzuela, 30, from Stafford, Virginia, and a transfer scholar from Germanna Neighborhood Higher education, that usually means professional medical college, a career in aerospace medication, potentially in the Air Pressure, and creating off her research in Mason’s Applied Biosensing Laboratory.

There, beneath the mentorship of associate professor Parag Chitnis, Valenzuela is portion of an energy to produce wearable ultrasound technological innovation for the quantitative evaluation of musculoskeletal injuries in army company users.

At the very same time, Valenzuela is working part-time for Inova Wellbeing Technique as a rehabilitation technician. She earlier worked aspect-time for Mary Washington Healthcare as a patient basic safety attendant.

“Dulcce is an exemplar student who not only realized substantial educational standing in our lessons but also made the most of the diverse exploration possibilities Mason Bioengineering has to offer for our undergrads,” Chitnis stated. “In my lab, she independently formulated a system for characterizing the effectiveness of novel, wearable ultrasound sensors, which has now become section of our normal protocol. This was an spectacular accomplishment considering that she had no prior knowledge in this region.”

“Once you are out of the waters with some thing like most cancers, your human body is extremely a great deal in fight or flight method, and you’re just kind of surviving for a very little bit,” explained Valenzuela, who underwent two years of therapy to triumph over Ewing sarcoma, which commenced in the delicate tissue and bones of her shoulder and unfold to her lungs. “Now I’m accomplishing matters with intention.”

It is that grit—including coming to the United States at 13 with her mother and sister from their indigenous Honduras for her cancer treatments—that defines Valenzuela as a Mason college student, mentioned Shani Ross, associate chair of undergraduate packages in the Bioengineering Department.

“She is a very good citizen of Mason,” Ross reported. “From a varied history, a transfer university student, a good human remaining. And by her very own struggles, really needs to aid persons.”

Added Claudia Borke, an educational advisor in the Bioengineering Department: “She exemplifies the most effective in a Mason college student.”

Valenzuela said Mason aided pull the greatest out of her.

She claimed she straight away felt at residence at the college all through a industry journey to the Fairfax Campus with other Germanna learners. She appreciates the university’s range and the “tons of opportunities” for research with faculty who are “very open to having students in their labs so we can get some encounter.”

“I come to feel I’m coming out with great associations, very good connections,” Valenzuela mentioned. “I sense rather ready to consider my next ways.”

That includes beginning an accelerated master’s software at Mason in Spring 2024, continuing her exploration in the Utilized Biosensing Lab, finding out for the MCAT, and sooner or later making use of to medical colleges.

“I’m so energized,” Valenzuela mentioned about graduating. “It is these an accomplishment to do that and give that to my mom and permit her appreciate that, too.”