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TRIBUTE: Bergen County Mom Fought Cancer With Dignity, Grace -- Both Times

Adele Rivas with her husband, Luis V. Rivas and their son Constantino V. Rivas.
Adele Rivas with her husband, Luis V. Rivas and their son Constantino V. Rivas. Photo Credit: GOFUNDME

Genuine. Kind. Tenacious.

This is how people are remembering Adele Grace Rivas of Midland Park, formerly of Bergenfield, who died on May 31 after a second battle with cancer. She was 40 years old.

The day Adele received her first breast cancer diagnosis was the day she discovered she was pregnant with her miracle baby, Constantino "Tino" V. Rivas. Her second diagnosis came in 2017 -- Stage 4 metastatic.

Those who knew her said she fought with dignity and grace.

"‘Grace!’ So fitting a name," Remi Soyombo said on her obituary . "Adele....you were full of it. So beautiful inside and out.

"One of the strongest, generous and faithful women I’ve known."

"Her soul was the sweetest and she cared wholeheartedly about her patients," Sarah Estrada added. "I feel honored to have the opportunity to work bedside her at St. Joes!

"Her strength and love she had for her husband and son shined upon her face."

“She radiated kindness compassion and love," said Elina Golbin, pictured here with Adele. "She devoted her life to helping others.”

More than $27,800 had been raised as of Wednesday on a GoFundMe launched last November by Elina Golbin, who met Adele in a cancer support group during her first battle.

"You'd think someone going through this would complain or feel sorry for themself," said Golbin, a six-year breast cancer survivor. "Not Adele."

"My heart is completely broken from losing such an angelic friend. We started our journey together and it’s hard to believe she’s no longer here.

"Adele was the most selfless person and she touched so many lives with her beautiful spirit and big heart. The last 2 years were filled with many medical struggled, but Adele always took the time to thoughtfully listen and help me through my own challenges."

Adele was a talented musician who played the violin in the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, and served as a drum major in the Bergenfield Marching Band.

She worked as a physician's assistant for many years, and cared deeply about all of her patients.

Childhood friend and local law enforcement officer Jason Lanzilotti shared memories and a vignette from Adele's funeral, held Wednesday:

Jason LanzilottiChildhood friend and local law enforcement officer Jason Lanzilotti shared memories and vignette from Rivas' funeral, held Wednesday.

"Adele will live on in my heart and mind forever," Golbin added. "I will spend my life sharing her story and helping other women fighting this horrible disease, the way Adele always helped them."

Adele is survived by her husband Luis V. Rivas and their son Constantino V. Rivas; along with countless friends, family members and loved ones.

Adele Rivas is fighting cancer for the second time.

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