Dominic Fights To Dominate Cancer

When all is said and done, what is done is more important than what is said.”

Photo Courtesy:  Cindy Chenelia Dominic Valentine with Carley and Sam Chenelia

Photo Courtesy: Cindy Chenelia
Dominic Valentine with Carley and Sam Chenelia

By Jennifer Jester-Madrigal

Eastvale – If you live in Eastvale, chances are you have run into Dominic Valentine at some point. Many owe their fitter physiques to the killer workouts she leads from her garage boot camp, and others know her from her active participation in our community. But what many don’t know is that Dominic’s life changed completely on New Year’s Day of this year.

While prepping for the events of the day, Dominic decided to go for a quick walk with a friend while her husband, Fred Valentine, Jr., stayed busy around the house. When they returned, Dominic told her husband that while on the walk she had had a seizure. They rushed her to the local hospital, and spent the weekend undergoing tests before eventually being sent to UCI for further evaluation. After an MRI, and even more consults with doctors, it was discovered that Dominic had a brain tumor that would need to be removed.

Before this surgery could be done, however, Dominic had to have electrodes put on her brain to map the seizure activity. She was immediately admitted into UCI Medical Center. After the electrode procedure occurred, the time came to remove the actual tumor. That surgery left her with no mobility on her right side, but the staff at UCI advised Dominic and her husband that this was only temporary.

Friends and family who visited Dominic were continually inspired by her perseverance and determination to regain her strength and mobility. As a person who is normally up every day at 4:15 a.m. to run a boot camp, nothing was going to hold Dominic back. To stay inspired, she posted her personal training quote in her room:  “When all is said and done, what is done is more important than what is said.”

With the help of family, and devoted “boot-campers,” Dominic worked on stretching and therapy independently, before and after the medical staff’s treatments. Dominic’s husband, Fred, recalls, “The staff explained what was required of Dominic and answered our questions. Once Dominic saw that she could move her fingers, she brightened up and her confidence lifted.”

After several days in surgical recovery, Dominic had more mobility in her arm and she was able to stand on both legs. At that time, it was decided to move her to the rehabilitation unit. While she was still unable to dress herself or perform other basic functions without assistance, Dominic fought on. She eventually learned how to bathe and dress and soon was able to walk up and down stairs.

Dominic fought like a champ and was recently released from rehab.  She came home to a large group of friends and family with signs and balloons welcoming her back. Dominic even made it to the Eastvale Relay for Life on Apr. 18.

Our local community has once again rallied around one of its own and provided the Valentines with support, love, meals and prayers. Dominic has just completed three weeks of radiation and is preparing for 48 weeks of chemotherapy.  In her words, she is “ready to kick this in the butt!”