The March 2023 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant of $25,000 goes to the Desert Cancer Foundation. The local nonprofit organization helps pays for cancer care for local valley residents who otherwise could not afford or access care.
DCF plans to use the grant from the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Foundation to support its Patient Assistance Program. The nonprofit’s executive director Eevet Edens said every dollar donated translates to more than $10 in care.
“To someone who is uninsured or underinsured or just lacks the money to pay all of the out-of-pocket costs, a cancer diagnosis is that much more devastating, and Desert Cancer Foundation provides that financial assistance," said Edens. "The Berger Foundation is an ongoing partner."
Click here to donate to the Desert Cancer Foundation
News Channel Three’s Marian Bouchot spoke with one local who is getting help from the Desert Cancer Foundation. Francisco de Anda is undergoing treatment for a rare type of terminal brain cancer. It’s been one year since he was first diagnosed.
“I think a positive attitude is huge. It's how you approach everything in life. If you stay positive, strong, strong faith, everything else will come," said de Anda.
As a husband and father of four kids, he said he has a lot to live for.
“You know, my daughter has asked, you know, you're going to-- she's a senior, you're going to be there for my graduation, you know, right? I told her of course, I'm gonna keep, I'm gonna keep fighting," said de Anda.
Early on in the diagnosis, de Anda lost his sight temporarily and could barely move. One of his daughters, Francine, found it hard to stay positive like her father.
“This isn't my dad, like, you know, he's sick. He's, like, really sick. It hit him hard. You know, for us to see him-- see our dad that way because we had never seen him like that. It was hard to," Francine."
As de Anda’s treatment started, so did the medical bills that came along with it.
“You're the main financial support for the family; you don't realize what's coming down the line when you start seeing these doctors," said de Anda.
So his daughter did what she could to help.
“I barely have enough, and it'd be like my whole paycheck. And I'd be like, well, I have to, you know, I couldn't feel guilty. I have to do this. This is my dad. He has to get this done," said Francine.
Determined not to give up the fight, de Anda got connected with the Desert Cancer Foundation.
“You don't realize what comes with that, which are the financials. And that's where the [Desert Cancer Foundation] has really helped anything that is cancer-related," said de Anda.
Giving his fight against cancer his all while never losing sight of hope.
“I'm like, bring it, you know. I'm not gonna get tired of treatment, you know, I have a lot to live for," said de Anda. "You got to have a positive attitude towards everything. Even if you've been dealt with the hand, like I have been dealt with, you know.”