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Caroline & MoIses (Los Angeles, CA)

My first comic con that I attended was at Long Beach Comic Con 2009 where Stan Lee cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony. I was a bit star struck and thought that this was a very cool introduction! Seeing everyone having similar fandoms to celebrate together in one place felt very surreal and I was happy. However, I’m sorry to say that the rest of that day wasn’t a good one.

Without my knowledge, I was being followed and recorded without consent, and someone bullied me on video because I was wearing a “store bought” Harley Quinn cosplay (not sure if the video is still up on YouTube). I was depressed for a while and felt alone after finding out. I tried to overcome that feeling by learning how to sew, made friends at conventions who also enjoyed cosplay, and continued doing what I love by cosplaying characters that were fun to dress up as.

Moises and I first met during fall semester 2014 at our communication class at Antelope Valley College. I was attracted to his quick-witted jokes as well as his kind and caring nature. I was also working on my Duela Dent cosplay. My fan devotion to the character kept me going to complete the costume no matter how long it took.

Earlier this summer however, my life changed completely. My doctor informed me from my yearly physical check up results that they found an abnormal cluster of cells within my body that were most likely to spread and become cancerous and needed to schedule an appointment for surgery. 

I didn’t know what to say after hearing this. Many questions were running from my mind. What caused this? What would I do if the surgery doesn’t go right? What would happen if the cells grew somewhere else in my body after the surgery? Would I need to go through chemotherapy in the future if the cells spread and the surgery doesn’t work? I had to put my Duela Dent cosplay on hiatus. This was more important.

I became sad after hearing the news. As we left the doctors office, I told Moises what my doctor had told me. He was shocked at the news and he became sad as well. But he transformed that sadness into humor to cheer me up. Moises would make me happy and I would laugh constantly at his jokes. This positive humor and joy helped me mentally ready for the surgery and it was successful. When I was waking up from the anesthesia at the surgery center, He was by my side the whole time.

For the following weeks, Moises helped me construct my Duela Dent costume as well as his Quinnet costume while I would be laying on my bed. He’s was so supportive and caring throughout the whole procedure and he is still supporting me even to this day. We’ve been together for more than a year now and I am so grateful for Moises, my family, friends, doctor, and everyone for their love and support. I am also grateful that the abnormal cells in my body were removed in time. For now, there are no traces of precancerous cells in my body. I know there are people who have it much, much worse than I did and are still battling severe cancer to this day.

My first return to the convention after my surgery was at Long Beach Comic Con. Putting on all the makeup, skirt padding, stockings, corset, wig, and many accessories, felt like the hard work was finally accomplished.

I never believed that life was a success only journey. Depending on the situation, there are times in your life that things will go beyond your own control and you have to think about what action to take next instead of sulking about it. In my opinion, without genuine laughter (as long as you don’t tread on other people) and happiness in your life, you are not truly living.

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