Mother of 2 with stage 4 cancer overcomes obstacles to graduate college

LOS ANGELES -- Magaly Leyva is a 25-year-old mother of two, preparing to graduate from Cal State Northridge. The courageous woman is also battling cancer and fighting for her life.

Leyva has a lot on her plate. While caring for 2-month-old Abel and 8-year-old Albert, she just finished her last final exam for her bachelor's degree. She is set to graduate on Saturday.

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"Very happy. I'll probably cry, like of joy obviously," she said.

But her biggest challenge lies ahead. Leyva was recently diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I went to the emergency room, and they told me that I had a mass, a mass in my head on the right side," she described. "They told me that it had spread throughout my body."

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Leyva said she broke down but quickly changed her outlook.

"I thought about my two kids and my family and everything, and I told myself I had to be strong, and I have to keep going and keep striving to fight this," she said.

With medical bills looming, she started a GoFundMe page to help with the costs.

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"She's strong, positive, very self-motivated. She inspires others," said Jesse Morfin, Leyva's partner and Abel's father.

Morfin is one of her biggest supporters and is gearing up for the obstacles ahead.

"What I tell her - a life not worth fighting for is a life not worth living," Mortin said. "We have a job to do. She's not allowed to leave yet. We have to raise this beautiful baby."

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That's something that Leyva is determined to do.

"I feel like when you stay positive, your whole body changes as well. So you're more like alert, happy, your body even feels happier," she said.

Leyva is graduating with a degree in social justice and social welfare. She said her career is going to be on hold for some time while she undergoes cancer treatment. However, she said when she beats the disease, she wants to become a social worker.
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