From Denise Ashley, a close friend of Carmen:
When thinking of the word “hero” only one person comes to mind – Carmen Miranda. At the age of 35 she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. From the first day, she determined that she was going to “Kick Cancer’s Ass” which is why our LTN Team was named #CKCA. She fought with a vengeance through many rounds of chemo, radiation and countless trials. Her main reason for never considering giving up treatments was her son. She prayed and asked her doctor for as much time as she could get with him. She also fought bravely for her husband, mother, sisters and close friends.
Carmen was a hero to her family in many ways. Not only an amazing mother, but also an amazing daughter, sister and wife. Most Sundays, she would cook family dinners where her sisters and their families could all gather together and catch up on just about anything. Even when her sisters said she should slow down in the kitchen, she did not hold back. Her stubbornness did not slow at all during her fight. Being the eldest of her siblings, Carmen guided them through their educations, jobs, weddings, and many other events in their lives. When her sisters had children, she loved them as her own.
Working at JPMorganChase was extremely important to Carmen. She loved her job and often said it contributed to her sanity and healing. It made her feel normal and not like a cancer patient. She came to the office somedays and could eat only ice chips all day and insisted on being there even when her blood counts were dangerously low. It was difficult to watch her continue to come to work when she was sick and weak, but she would just smile and say she “needed” to work. She continued to negotiate the socks off her vendors and excelled in her work despite what she was going through physically. She often worked from home during her treatments but always preferred to be in the office with her peers.
Carmen loved her family and friends fiercely and didn’t want them to worry about her. She bravely faced whatever cancer put in front of her and never once considered giving up the fight. She did her own research on various new trials and treatments and presented them to her doctor for consideration. If there was only a slight chance a treatment would work, she insisted on trying it even nearing the end of her life.
When it came to Light the Night and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Ohio, Carmen was dedicated to raising funds for research of Leukemia and Lymphoma. During her first chemo rounds at The James she saw a flyer in the hallway and vowed to be involved in the next Light the Night Walk. She formed the #CKCA Team for the 2016 walk. Her Team continues to walk each year, now in her honor to shed light on her battle, as well as all the families who are now fighting their own battles.
Carmen will always be a hero to all who knew and loved her. There is a huge void in the hearts of many, and she will be remembered for her tenacity, strength, resiliency and beauty. She never gave up and fought bravely to the end of her life on August 9, 2018.