Strawberry Crest High School (SCHS) JROTC Cadet Garcia is battling his personal obstacles with courage, a positive attitude, and the support of his fellow cadets, students, and faculty and staff. Cadet Garcia is a freshman at SCHS, and is battling brain cancer. The cancer was reportedly in remission last year, but has returned more aggressively.
Damiyan is a highly motivated young cadet who recently marched the entire route of the Plant City Christmas Night Parade with his JROTC batallion. Cadet Garcia’s courage and ability to overcome the toughest obstacles is extraordinary; however, he insists on being an “ordinary” high school kid. Throughout his fight, Damiyan has maintained a positive attitude. Despite his understandable pain from radiation and chemotherapy treatments, Cadet Garcia always has a smile on his face and his intermittent appearance in the classroom is always welcome!
Cadet Garcia has to make frequent trips to Miami in order to undergo special treatment for his condition, yet he continues his high school studies online and with a personal tutor. During his treatments in Miami, he returned home every other weekend. Just a few weeks ago, Cadet Garcia visited the school and was presented a congratulatory card for his recent promotion to the rank of Corporal. The card was signed by many of the Charger Cadets. His fellow cadets are committed to keeping Damiyan motivated during his continued fight against cancer. According to his instructor, 1SG LaShawn Lyas, “Cadet Damiyan Garcia is a leader with a can-do attitude who never quits and never fails his team. He is an inspiration to all.”
JROTC Cadets learn the Army Core Values by using the acronym LeaDeRSHIP: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage. The one value that epitomizes Damiyan in his fight against cancer is the value of Personal Courage. Cadet Garcia was the first Freshman Cadet promoted to the rank of Corporal this year and serves as an inspiration for all cadets. In fact, the Corps of Cadets has dedicated the remainder of the JROTC school year to Cadet Corporal Garcia.
Donations have poured in from groups and individuals to help the Garcia Family off-set expenses. If you are interested in helping Damiyan’s family offset his medical expenses, there is a Go Fund Me account set up in his name at https://www.gofundme.com/brain-cancer-battle.
STORY UPDATE: According to SCHS representatives, Damiyan is doing great. He just had another surgery and is in good spirits.
They are hoping that he can now be transferred to a hospital in Orlando for further treatment. For more updates about Damiyan, you may call Lt. Col (Ret) John Ingraham at (813) 707-7522 ext. 263 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the SCHS website to find out more about the school.