Humans of City Furniture: Sara

Sara Valderrama received her daughter Julie’s leukemia diagnosis on New Year’s Eve. Rather than welcoming 2015 with toasts and ball drops, our Learning & Development manager and single mother of three resolved to get her 15-year-old daughter to her next birthday. They started chemo immediately, and Julie spent the beginning of the year in the hospital instead of going back to school with her friends. The good news of remission came fast in early February, but Julie still faces many months of intensive chemotherapy followed by another year of maintenance. And while the rigorous weekly chemo has taken its toll on her physical strength, leaving Julie unable to return to school yet, the determined sophmore is maintaining a 4.0 through online classes and already looking into colleges—with Berkley topping her list (though the cross-country school is not at the top of Sara’s). Throughout it all, Sara credits coming to work as her therapy, especially the pre-chemo happy hours that were quickly organized by her team. But her real strength comes from Julie, saying “Not everyone gets to meet their heroes. I gave birth to mine.”