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Ganado woman loses battle to cancer on day of Relay

By JR Ortega
April 29, 2011 at 9:03 p.m.
Updated April 29, 2011 at 11:30 p.m.

Kohl's employees participated in the 15th annual American Cancer Society's Relay for Life on Friday at Coleto Creek Reservoir, after finding out that earlier that day their co-worker and friend, Megan Diaz, 20, died of breast cancer. To see video, go to

COLETO CREEK - Megan Diaz was proud of her wigs - and her fellow Kohl's employees said she showed it.

Diaz, a Kohl's employee from Ganado, lost her battle with breast cancer Friday morning, the day of the 15th annual Victoria County Relay for Life.

She was 20 years old.

"We walk for Megan," read the back of her fellow employees' T-shirts as they began their journey around the Coleto Creek reservoir.

Diaz's fabulous wigs and positive energy kept her friends smiling as tears welled in their eyes and streamed down their faces.

"We all have stories of cancer loss," said Priscilla Burges, manager and friend.

Diaz had been diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, Burges and other employees said.

She had worked at Kohl's about a year and a half.

Burges still remembers Diaz stopping by her office to tell her the news.

"Priscilla, I'm only 19," Diaz had said, crying to Burges.

Burges, 28, felt Diaz's life was a life cut too short.

"It made me feel good that she could come to me and talk about that," Burges said, crying.

The morning's news was heartbreaking, but helps push the message and reason for Relay for Life, said Nancy Hillis with the American Cancer Society.

"It's devastating," she said shaking her head. "I do (Relay for Life) because I care. The whole community is grieving."

Stories of survival and the losses of loved ones can be found everywhere at the event, Hillis said.

And the event didn't disappoint.

Seventy teams, along with friends and supporters, took part in the 12-hour event to raise money and awareness for cancer.

A select few cancer survivors and family members who lost loved ones to cancer stood on stage and shared their stories for the honoree celebration.

Lawrence Onken, 69, shared the story of his battle with colon cancer in 2007.

Right after him was a 4-year-old girl, already a cancer survivor.

After visiting MD Anderson, having 45 radiation treatments, six weeks of chemotherapy, a surgery and having five more doses of chemotherapy, Onken had finally beaten cancer.

"Everyone has a story," Onken said. "I really have to feel so deeply for the younger ones."

Diaz is one of those young ones, Mary Anne Drozd, a fellow employee, said.

"She was always worried about other people and not herself," she said.



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