Former Comberlands wrestler fighting for her life
University of the Cumberlands Sports Information

11,270 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2009, according to the American Cancer Society.

Augustin A. Garcia, MD, an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University Of Southern California Keck School Of Medicine said, "Cervical Cancer is the second most common malignancy in women worldwide, and it remains a leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in developing countries."

Cervical Cancer is a very serious disease that should not be over looked. It can be diagnosed to anyone.

University of the Cumberlands alumni Becky D'Ambrosia is a victim fighting for her life against cervical cancer. Her young life has been altered by this merciless disease.

From Defiance, Ohio, D'Ambrosia was a female wrestler. She showed true promise when she won the United States Girls Wrestling Association (USGWA) National Tournament in high school and decided to further her career at the University of the Cumberlands in 2001. She was graduated in 2005 with a major in Psychology.

Kip Flanik, Cumberlands head women's wrestling coach said, "Becky is a great person and a wrestler that I could always count on. Everyone on the team loved her and knew they could go to her with any problems."

After D'Ambrosia graduated from UC she moved to Phoenix, Arizona to begin work on her master's degree. Her life was set. She was happy with her fianc?, that she just married recently, and was starting a new life.

In March of 2009, D'Ambrosia was diagnosed with cervical cancer. In April she had surgery, but the ruthless cancer had already spread to her abdominal cavity. Sadly, last month, August, the doctors gave D'Ambrosia only six months to live.

"I have strong faith and that has carried me through the tough days. I know I will be okay regardless of what happens," D'Ambrosia said to Jack Palmer of the Crescent News in a phone interview.

D' Ambrosia's tragic situation really took the people who cared for her by surprise.

"I was heart-broken when I found out. She is such a great person," said Flanik.

Past team mates of D' Ambrosia's also stated grief to her situation. Toccara Montgomery, an alumnus of UC and former teammate of Becky's said, "I was in disbelief that someone my age and that I was close with could be struck by such a tragic disease."

Alaina Berube, also a UC alumnus and friend of D' Ambrosia's said, "I was a year younger than Becky, but we were still close. I was just shocked when I found out. It is really a tragic situation. I never expected it to happen to friends that I knew."

Even though the doctors were not optimistic about Becky's chances, Flanik described D' Ambrosia's attitude as very positive and having a strong relationship with God, when he went to visit her at the Phoenix Baptist Hospital.

D' Ambrosia's unfortunate story demonstrates how serious and deadly cervical cancer is for women.

Dr. Garcia, states that, "Early epidemiology data demonstrated a direct casual relationship between cervical cancer and sexual activity. Major risk factors observed include: sex at a young age, multiple sexual partners, promiscuous male partners, and history of sexually transmitted disease."

Other causes of cervical cancer are weak immune systems, conditions that weaken the immune system like HIV/AIDS, smoking, and using oral contraceptives for more than ten years.

The best way to avoid this nasty disease is prevention.

According to, women should get regular Pap testing to catch the cervical cancer before it spreads. Also it is very smart to get the HPV test and the new HPV vaccine.

Cervical cancer is only found in women according to Dr. Garcia, so all women should become knowledgeable about this killer disease. Taking care of the body with regular checkups is the best way to prevent the disease.

It may be too late to reverse the course of action of cervical cancer in Becky, but it is not too late to help educate young women across the world about the devastation that can be caused by such an evil disease. Educate and protect yourself. For more information visit