He was only 17 years old when his mom lost her battle to breast cancer in 1990. Ten years after her passing he founded the Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center in East Los Angeles dedicated to cancer treatment. Now, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month comes to an end, Oscar de la Hoya reminds people why his late mom is the biggest champ he will ever know.
Although he was the youngest U.S. boxer to win a gold medal at the 1990 Goodwill Games, it was his mother’s biggest dream to see her son become an Olympic gold medalist. She passed away two years before De La Hoya won Gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.
Her fight with cancer became his biggest inspiration in life and even inside the ring.
“It definitely taught me that my mother was a lot stronger than I was at any given day, whether it was inside the ring or outside the ring,” he told Latina. “What she unfortunately went through was difficult for us kids to live through. Here you have a woman who is too proud to go to the hospital and get treatments, or to get mammograms because she didn’t want to leave the household and make us worry. She was the toughest person that I will ever know—she taught me courage, to stand up for myself, and confidence.
The Mexican boxer encourages every woman to get necessary screenings, check-ups, and mammograms. “My number one message to women is that you’ve taken care of others all your life, it is time to take care of yourself,” he said. He also encourages men to wear pink in support of these beautiful, strong women.
As his interview with Latina wrapped up, De La Hoya revealed that his all-time favorite song was Juan Gabriel’s “Amor Eterno” because that was his mother’s jam. ***Feels***
Learn more about Cecilia Gonzalez De La Hoya Cancer Center, here.
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