Young woman who overcame Hodgkin's lymphoma to sing national anthem at Giants' final home game

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Friday, January 5, 2024
Young cancer survivor to sing national anthem at Giants' game
Sam Ryan has more on the young woman's remarkable journey.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An NYU student is getting a chance to sing in front of a crowd bigger than anything she could've imagined despite being blindsided by a tragic diagnosis and treatment that put her dreams on hold.

NYU sophomore Mya Rodriguez has dreams and aspirations of someday singing on Broadway, but those dreams were put on hold a few years ago when she was a senior at High Tech High School Hudson County Schools of Technology after she was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I thought I was going to have to change my career," Rodriguez said. "All my hair fell out. I was bald, 17 years old, and I had stopped taking classes, I stopped my singing and dancing training, and when you're a dancer and you start as late as I did all of those muscles are lost and you're starting back from zero."

After several rounds of chemotherapy, including 20 infusions, and a gap year from college to focus on her health, Rodriguez was named a recipient of the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Tisch Family scholarship.

"Since 2002, we've given out 143 scholarships for over a million dollars to kids who qualify," said Tom Coughlin, the former New York Giants head coach.

Rodriguez said she was inspired and motivated after finding out about the fund.

"I was inspired to kind of just chase after my life, I think they have motivated me and told me that I'm not the only person who is going through this and you're not alone," Rodriguez said.

This past October, Rodriguez was asked to speak at the TCJ Fund gala. She sang, and her talents caught everyone's attention including Giants President John Mara.

"It was funny because they didn't think I was going to sing when I got up there, they thought I was going to speak," Rodriguez said.

"Having heard her sing in that voice, which was incredible, we thought, 'wouldn't it be great to have Mya sing the national anthem at our last home game,' so we asked her," Mara said.

"If you can imagine the opportunity she sees for herself now to sing in front of 75,000 to 80,000 people," Coughlin said.

If you thought Rodriguez would be nervous about singing the anthem in front of a crowd of 80,000 people, think again!

"I'm excited to share that with other people, it's a shared experience, so I don't feel alone and there is nothing to be nervous about," she said.


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