Maria Lerma, C.V.T., B.S.Veterinary Technician, Oncology
I was born and raised in Denver, a true native to Colorado. I knew very early on that I was different than my two little sisters and other girls my age. I was a bit of a tomboy and had no issues with “gross” stuff growing up. I always had an inquisitive mind, especially when it came to animals. I was immediately interested in anatomy and science and had the curiosities and interest to pursue a career with animals.
Along with my curious mind and eagerness to learn, I also found a strong emotional connection with animals. I can remember holding funeral services for the mice my father would catch in traps around the house. Flowers picked from our yard, kind words, tears - the works! I learned early on what the value of life meant to me. My undeniable interest in veterinary medicine and compassion for all creatures is what has molded me into the nurse I am today.
I graduated from Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology in 2008. I also attended Metropolitan State University, where I majored in biology and minored in environmental science. Over the years, my career has included shelter work, emergency/critical care, high-volume nursing/patient care, and most recently, the opportunity to work in CSU Flint Animal Cancer Center. I have aspired to join CSU’s oncology department for quite some time. I do not doubt that I am right where I am supposed to be — offering comfort and quality of life to our patients, educating and supporting clients in their time of need, and providing some extended time with their beloved pet.
When I’m not working at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, I love spending time with my husband and family. We enjoy traveling, camping, hiking, boating, live music, sporting events (GO BRONCOS!) and just about anything outdoors. We have two dogs, our “old lady,” a pittie mix named Bella and a very happy Boxer named Duke, who always manages to keep us smiling. We also have two super cool cats, Junior and Elmer, and our doggie angels Jager and Bailey. Both Jager and Bailey lost their battles with cancer, and we miss them dearly. I see their faces in the patients we treat every day, and it reminds me why I chose a career in veterinary oncology.