Breast cancer survivor: We must never lose faith

Andy Castellin with her daughters Alina and Aleska who are her main support. - Grevic Alvarado
Andy Castellin with her daughters Alina and Aleska who are her main support. - Grevic Alvarado


Bad news when she was living her best moments has not been an impediment for Andy Castellin, a Venezuelan cancer survivor who continues with her normal life and tries to make the people around her happy.

Born in Maracay, Aragua State, Venezuela, Castellin at 43, is at a stage of her life when to love her family has become a priority.

Castellin arrived in Trinidad and Tobago in 2015.

“In my country I was a school-supplies seller for 18 years. Then I got an opportunity to work as a masseuse in an aesthetic clinic in the city of Puerto Ordaz, in the south of Venezuela.”

Andy Castellin was diagnosed with grade two cancer when she was preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of her own business. - Grevic Alvarado

But, faced with the difficult economic situation, Castellin emigrated and saw in TT an opportunity to give her three children (Anderson, Alina and Aleska) what they needed.

“I had to leave my children in Venezuela. They were studying and I couldn't bring them with me. I came to TT in search of economic opportunities so they would never lack for anything, and I achieved it.”

Today, her three children and five of her grandchildren (Abraham, Santiago, Liam, Arturo, Alisson) give her the love necessary to continue her life.

Andy Castellin arrived in TT in 2015 looking for economic stability that would allow him to give his children the development they needed. - Grevic Alvarado

In TT she worked in various jobs.

“I got a job at a spa. The owners knew about my experience, and I was with them for several years.”

However, the start of the covid19 pandemic left her unemployed.

"Those were hard times, but that led me to think bigger and I decided to open my own spa.”

In mid-2021 she launched her project, which she called @aesthetic_connection.

“I couldn't sit idly by. Several friends helped me and I managed to offer my beauty and relaxation services as well as home services in a room in my home. Today I have my own business. It is a dream come true."

Andy Castellin: "My clients gave me unconditional support. I received support from many people I knew." - Grevic Alvarado

A few months later she managed to rent an apartment next door and expanded the business.

In July 2022, when she was preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of her business in a big way, she got bad news. She was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer.

“There were many challenges, but thank God I had the best doctors. Apparently the cancer was detected at a very early stage so it would only be necessary to remove the tumour. However, I decided to authorise a bilateral radical mastectomy,” she recalls.

A costly illness, in a country where public health was not an option for her as a migrant, led her to face the greatest challenge of her life.

“I always had faith. My clients gave me unconditional support. I received support from many acquaintances.

"Immediately after the diagnosis, my children came from Peru and Brazil to give me full support. We did raffles. We sold meals and desserts to cover 20 per cent of the treatment. Fortunately, I had medical insurance to cover the other 80 per cent.

Andy Castellin received support from her clients since she was diagnosed with grade two cancer and never stopped her work. - Grevic Alvarado

"God is great."

After her treatment began, she contracted covid.

“It was a hard process. The cancer had spread, so I would face chemotherapy and radiation in the coming months.”

She never stopped working.

“A week after my surgery, I was already providing services, with great care, but always active, with my daughters and my sister, who has always been by my side. My clients were always patient and supportive of my situation.”

She now has to face hormonal treatment for the next five years, but she is sure she will stay healthy.

Andy Castellin's future goal is to expand her business @aeathetic_connection - Grevic Alvarado

“Every day I get up to go to the gym and return home and then continue with my work at the spa. Always positive, surrounded by my children and grandchildren. Grateful for life.”

Now her plan is to stay in good physical and mental shape.

“I want to expand my business and be able to continue my life with my family, see my grandchildren grow up.”

She advises other women who have been diagnosed with cancer: “Never lose faith, always exercise, inform yourself, knock on all the doors that are necessary. Never give up. Never stop believing in God. Always be resilient.”


"Breast cancer survivor: We must never lose faith"

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