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Drive-by shower for pregnant woman with breast cancer

Imagine fighting breast cancer while being pregnant in a time when our country is engulfed in the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s no wonder, then, that Shauna Garcia of Palmerton was completely overwhelmed earlier this month by the outpouring of love shown to her.

Garcia was surprised when a bunch of her friends and some family held a drive-by drop-off baby shower outside her home on Delaware Avenue.

“I was definitely surprised and it had a very good turnout, people dropped of their gifts,” Garcia said. “It was an amazing turnout.”

Garcia explained how the kindhearted surprise conceived by her friends and family unfolded right before her very eyes.

“They actually made a Facebook page and invited everybody and set a time,” she said. “Everybody came and dropped off gifts and said their hellos.”

Garcia specifically signaled out two of her friends, Emily Palansky and Chris Pombo-Quattrocchi, of Slatington, whom she knows from previously having lived there herself.

She said she went to school with Palansky, and coached the Northern Lehigh cheerleading team with Pombo-Quattrocchi.

Diagnosed with cancer expecting a child

A 2014 graduate of Northern Lehigh High School, Garcia moved to Palmerton about three years ago when she married Carlos Garcia-Torres.

Garcia, 24, recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. A mere two weeks later, she found out she was pregnant.

Now eight months into her pregnancy, Garcia said she and her husband are expecting their daughter, Avalyn Deysi, in five weeks.

“I had to see special doctors, an oncologist, they all came together and came up with a plan that would allow me to have treatment, but we would still have the safety of the baby,” she said. ”I had my first round of chemo where they gave me medicine they knew was safe for my baby, and once I hit my second trimester, I had surgery (mastectomy) on the right side.”

At present, Garcia said she has a break from her treatment until two weeks after her baby is born. From there, she’ll have more chemo, and then another surgery sometime in October.

Through it all, Garcia said her husband continues to run the family-owned Siro’s Italian Restaurant in Palmerton.

“The business isn’t the same as it was when we could offer full service,” she said. “But we still have a lot of local support to support our small business.”

Above all else, Garcia said she’s grateful for the love she’s constantly shown.

“I have a lot of support, and my husband definitely makes sure I have everything I need,” she said. “I am well taken care of; my friends, family, even strangers are very supportive.”

Garcia said she will be induced for labor on June 7, then start her last round of chemo two weeks after that.

“As of right now, we keep a positive state of mind,” she said. “And we have a baby coming, and she definitely is a bright spot in the future that we look forward to.”

Shauna Garcia of Palmerton shown outside Siro's Italian Restaurant in Palmerton. A bunch of Garcia's friends and family held a drive-by drop-off baby shower outside her home recently. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS
Carlos Garcia-Torres and Shauna Garcia shown at Siro's Italian Restaurant in Palmerton. A 2014 graduate of Northern Lehigh School District, Garcia is currently fighting breast cancer while she's pregnant with the couple's soon-to-be daughter. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS