Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.

Francisca Arrellano was walking southbound on Valencia Street, heading home after a long day at school.

“I know why I waited so long, it’s a lot of work,” Arrellano said.

Arrellano, 49, went straight to work after finishing high school, becoming a medical assistant at San Francisco General Hospital. There, she got certified as a phlebotomist, and worked for two decades drawing drew blood from patients.

Then, in 2016 an an injury sidelined her. During a six-mile walk-a-thon from Candlestick Park to AT&T Park she slipped on a rock and twisted her ankle. She thought nothing of it and kept walking but by the end of the ordeal her ankle had swelled and she could no longer walk.

She ended up needing to have surgery and had to have metal braces inserted into her ankle.

Now on disability and retired from health care, Arrellano is a student once more at San Francisco City College. She’s working on starting a new career in child development.

“I’m just trying something new,” she said.

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