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"I don't feel sorry for her" : Cancer at the Guadalupe

Mary Jessie Garza, former Arts Education Director, was fired by the new President, R. Bret Ruiz on January 11th of this year. She has cancer, and now, no insurance.

While she was at the Guadalupe, she and her team raised over $1,000,000 during the four years she was at the Guadalupe. Until Ruiz took over, Mary Jessie directed an arts education program that counted as many as 900
cabezitas - 32 instructors teaching children training children in mariachi, voice, guitar, visual arts, keyboard, and more. The classes were held at the Guadalupe, in mobiles, and in after-school programs. The instructors include nationally-known artists who rank at the top in their fields.

But now she and her whole education team is gone. And the success of all that she worked for is at risk. While she scrambles to find low-cost medical care for her cancer treatments.

When Dolores Zapata Murff, the Public Relations and Marketing Manager, asked Ruiz about the ethics of firing Mary Jessie while she was still in treatment, he reportedly said, "I don't care. I don't feel sorry for her."

I will die without my cancer treatments," says Mary Jessie. My life depends on my insurance....not only am I dying from cancer, I'm gonna lose my house.

Not one of the Guadalupe Boardmembers have called her, she says.

**
*To read more about Mary Jessie Garza, read the earlier post, Part 4: Mary Jessie Garza tells her story.

Photo: The Guadalupe's offices at the old Progreso Drugstore, by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

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