Woman with failing shunt cheers on Cardinals 2 weeks after major surgery

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 6:53 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 30 at 8:04 AM

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals start every game with a rousing welcome from fans. But if the team knew more about this fan in section 125, they might have cheered for her.

"It's a long walk, and I'm winded but I'm here and that's all I care about," Carissa Galvez said from her seat in University of Phoenix Stadium Monday night.

That's an understatement from the Gilbert 20-year-old whose journey to that seat was much longer than just the walk from the car.

In late September, excruciating pain took over Galvez's body. An experimental shunt to drain spinal fluid from her brain started failing, and she and her mother couldn't find a doctor willing to fix it. But in early October, after 3TV first shared Galvez's story, a team at the University of Arizona Medical Center took her on, replaced the shunt and ended her mind-numbing headaches.

Fast forward two weeks and a day, and Galvez's scar and body are healing. She's also making good on a promise to herself. She and her mom bought tickets to this game for their boyfriends months ago, and being here became Galvez's benchmark.

"It has, it's kind of motivated her," her mom, Daniella Galvez, said. "She's been getting up, walking around the house and stuff to try and build up some stamina to make it through today."

"I felt like a month ago, I didn't even feel like I'd be here," said Galvez. "So I'm really excited and ready for the game, and ready to prove that the Cardinals can do it!"

You can understand her optimism. It's that fighting spirit that helped her get here tonight, and will carry her through the rest of her recovery.

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