Cancer-Stricken Mushroom Worker in Kennett Achieves Dream of Becoming U.S. Citizen

Determined to become an American, a South Mill mushroom worker passed his citizenship test from his hospital bed while fighting cancer. Image via the Daily Local News.

His desire to become an American citizen grew so strong over the 10 years he dedicated himself to picking fresh mushrooms at South Mill Kaolin Mushroom Farm that when Joaquin Ayllon Cordova recently fell ill from cancer, he finished out a commitment to citizenship classes and passed the test right in his hospital room.

“He could only answer the questions by mouthing it because he couldn’t talk anymore,” said South Mill Director of Labor Relations Elaine Girod Marnell in a Pottstown Mercury report by Fran Maye. “It was quite something to see.”

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Family members gathered around the 64-year-old’s bed at Jennersville Regional Hospital with mini American flags to celebrate the occasion.

“He was absolutely thrilled, especially now because this (immigration) issue is such a disturbing topic,” Marnell said.

Cordova, originally from Mexico, qualified for a provision that allows citizenship via a test for those at least 50 years old with 20 years of permanent residence, and he studied during classes provided by South Mill.

Read more about the unique citizenship dream come true for Cordova in the Pottstown Mercury here.

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