05/07/2012- Norma Ramírez, a mother of six, had been living illegally in North Carolina for eight years, when earlier this year she was diagnosed with a malignant growth on her urethra in January. Ramírez went through several medical procedures at WakeMed Hospital, but was facing deportation if she continued to receive treatment in the United States. Living with Ramírez in the United States were her two youngest daughters, ages 4 and 5, who are both U.S.-born citizens. Deportation would mean her two young daughters would be left without a guardian in the United States. On the other hand, if she were to move back to Mexico with her daughters, she did not know if she would be able to receive the medical treatment she would need.
Ramírez and her family received an overwhelming amount of support from the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh as well as from many other North Carolinians. The consulate offered to pay for her family to return to Mexico, and for her treatment at a hospital in Acapulco. Selene Barcelo, the deputy consul in Raleigh, said that all treatments, services, and medications would be paid for by the state and provided through the Mexican government.
Ramírez arrived with her two youngest daughters in Acapulco on April 16 and checked in to the Cancer Institute there. She was greeted there by her father and mother; her four other daughters had been living in Mexico with her mother. She has begun receiving treatments, but still has many ahead because the cancer has spread to her other organs.