Lethal and tenacious smoking habits puff on past Smokeout Day

EL PASO — Living with a chain-smoking habit that seems to run in her family, Erika Esparza fears being diagnosed with lung cancer but has failed to quit after many attempts even after seeking help along the way. “I’ve been smoking since I was 13. Both of my parents smoked about a carton a week each and growing up, it wasn’t a big deal to light a cigarette for them if they were busy. I started buying my own cigarettes at the corner store where my mom would send me to buy hers,” Esparza said. Esparza, 36, has cut down to about three cigarettes a day from a pack-a-day habit.

Coleen Marquez, a fighter. (Loreli Hassan/Borderzine.com)

Her struggle is a powerful tale of survival during breast cancer awareness month

EL PASO – A spider bite saved her life. After going for a walk, Coleen Marquez, 51, came home and suddenly felt a pain on her right breast and, saw later that it was a spider bite she had gotten while changing. It began to swell up and she immediately went to the doctor. She, was always meticulous about her breast self-exams and check-ups, but for some unexplained reason she had missed her appointments in February and March of 2004. “The doctor gave me antibiotics for the bite mark and sent me in for a mammogram,” said Marquez.

As we exited the bar my friend decided to lean against a stranger’s vehicle and gossip outside. (Illustration by Loreli Hassan/Borderzine.com)

The trauma and resolution of a terrifying gunpoint robbery

EL PASO – A night out with friends should be a positive experience. This sadly isn’t always the case. We’ve all succumb to peer pressure once or twice in life and have ended up at strange and unknown areas in town. We’ve talked to strangers, some good and some bad. We all have had strange and memorable nights out.