Woman overcomes cancer, graduates from ASU


Maureen Roen

ASU graduate Marisa Borjon's determination to not let health challenges derail her education was the focus of a recent profile in the Eastern Arizona Courier.

Borjon, who completed the bachelor of interdisciplinary studies from ASU's College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, is one of 40 ASU graduates over the past two years to have earned bachelor's degrees through the ASU partnership with Eastern Arizona College.

Diagnosed with cancer as a freshman in college, just months before giving birth to her daughter in 2007, the Clifton, Arizona, resident's journey to a baccalaureate degree meant battling chemotherapy, radiation, a bone-marrow transplant, hip replacements and other health issues caused by medical treatments.

“I remember driving to Tucson with my mother and having a procedure done to me in the morning where I was actually under anesthesia and I woke up, left the hospital because it was an in-and-out procedure, and my mom drove me home while I worked on homework. She would drop me off at school because I had a presentation due that day with my classmates as a group," said Borjon, recalling some of the difficult days as she juggled homework and health issues.

Declared cancer-free in February, she is working at a global-supply internship at the Freeport-McMoRan Morenci mine.

The innovative ASU-Eastern Arizona College partnership gives the residents of Graham, Greenlee and Gila counties an opportunity to complete their associate’s degree at EAC and then seamlessly transfer into ASU upper-division courses, offered mostly on-site in Thatcher.

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