Sen. Martinez recognizes anti-cancer activist Melissa Boratyn on the Senate floor

Sen. Martinez recognizes anti-cancer activist Melissa Boratyn on the Senate floor


In honor of October being recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to share the compelling story of an astounding young woman who lives in Chicago and is 8 years in her battle with breast cancer. A film studies graduate of Loyola University, Melissa was diagnosed with breast cancer at the early age of 23 in 2011. After what appeared to be a successful battle, Melissa was told she was cancer-free, and in 2014 married her soul mate Jimmy Boratyn, who stood by her side throughout her medical treatment. Jimmy and Melissa went on to graduate school at DePaul University, where they decided to create a movie based on Melissa’s experience. The movie was called “Ginger” due to Melissa’s beautiful red hair, which she lost throughout the grueling journey of cancer treatments and chemotherapy. While filming, Melissa learned that the cancer had returned, and she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. However, despite the devastating news, Melissa never missed a day on the movie set. “Ginger” the movie was completed in September of 2018 and won “Best in Fest” at the premiere at the 10th Annual Ladies Film Festival in Beverly Hills, California. Having received several other awards, “Ginger” will now be released to the public to achieve its intended goal of helping others and giving an in-depth look on the toll having breast cancer does on the life of a young woman. Melissa could not join us today, as she has started chemo once again, but I couldn’t pass this opportunity to recognize Melissa’s strength and advocacy she brings to breast cancer awareness.

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