Victim of UC Merced attack receives certificate of recognition from the City of Fresno

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A stabbing spree at UC Merced in November 2015 left one dead and four injured. Danielle Quiroga was one of those who survived. (KFSN)

A stabbing spree at UC Merced in November 2015 left one dead and four injured. Danielle Quiroga was one of those who survived.

Quiroga is a student advisor at UC Merced, and said she was walking to work that morning when 18-year-old student Faisal Mohammad went on a violent rampage. Authorities said he began stabbing people in front of dozens of witnesses before being gunned down by an officer.

Although Quiroga suffered stab wounds that left her in the hospital for two months, she said she won't let what happened define her.

"I didn't want to give the person that did this more power, they gave themselves the power to change my life and I wanted to take it back."

Quiroga received a Certificate of Recognition by the City of Fresno Thursday. She was noticed for using her voice advocating for others who have also experienced traumatic events. She said she wants to help those people move forward with their lives.

Earlier this month Quiroga was also invited to Washington D.C. where she was presented the Eva Murillo Unsung Hero Award from the Congressional Victims' Rights Caucus.

Quiroga said she hopes anyone who has been through a terrible situation can find the light to help guide them through it. She said she was able to find that light through the support of family, friends, physical therapists, counselors and coworkers.

"It's easier when you have a positive influence of people around you and if you don't have that supportive group try to find it."

Quiroga said she didn't choose to be a victim, but she does choose to be a survivor.

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