SAN JOSE -- The mother of San Jose State punter Michael Carrizosa died Monday morning after a 16-month battle with cervical cancer, family and friends said on her Facebook page.
Amy Allen Rodriguez, who turned 40 Christmas day, found out she had cancer while pregnant with her daughter Bella. The former Monterey police detective said in an interview in December that she had endured 12 rounds of chemotherapy, including five while pregnant. Rodriguez withstood 60 consecutive days of intense radiation treatment and underwent six surgeries.
She had shared her journey on Facebook, with the last posting a week ago about receiving a video message from celebrity Jessica Simpson:
"I'm so thankful for all the love and support everyone has given me," Rodriguez wrote. "I am beyond grateful for a friend like Cristal who went out of her way to get a special get well message from my idol Jessica Simpson. I am truly blessed! "
Carrizosa, 20, dedicated last season to his mom as he became an All-American punter and Ray Guy Award finalist to help the Spartans (6-7) reach the Cure Bowl. The sophomore walk-on who earned a scholarship said he tried to remain strong by focusing on school and football.
"When I'm gone he has a big support system and I have no doubt he'll be OK," Rodriguez said of her oldest son.
But she also said in a Facebook post last year: "My heart hurts every time I look at my children as I want to be there for every important life event and it scares me to know that even after fighting so hard and wanting it so very badly this stupid disease might win."
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.