LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A woman in Las Vegas won’t let cancer stop her from achieving her goals. Maria Duran-Bravo is Las Vegas’ newest published author.
“It was a dream and it’s insane that it’s all coming together now,” said Maria Duran-Bravo, a Make-A-Wish recipient.
At age 16, Duran-Bravo was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Through chemotherapy and surgery to remove part of her leg, she turned to reading and writing to work through her pain.
On Monday, her dream of becoming a published author came to life thanks to Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada.
“It’s always emotional. When she first walked into our office, she knew she wanted to write a children’s book, so seeing this today is everything,” said Scott Rosenzweig, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada.
After noting a lack of representation of disabled children in the media, Duran-Bravo was inspired to write “My New Neighbor, Macey.” The book is about a young girl with a prosthetic leg who moves in next door to the narrator and they become best friends.
“For me, the point is that if a child has a prosthetic leg, they may not be able to explain it or answer all these questions, or they may feel alienated so they can open a book and see someone who looks just like her is it all for me,” said Duran-Bravo.
Now Duran-Bravo uses her own experience and talents as a writer to help others who are going through similar situations.
“Whatever life brings you with your attitude towards it, it’s what you want to do with it and it’s been a great learning experience,” Duran-Bravo said.