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This fundraiser ended on 12/31/11

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3 members of the Castillo family battle cancer. Each struggles financially with daily living & medical expenses. Join us in support of them.

In 2004 my sister Lilia had started a new life. She was a newlywed kept busy by work and enjoying life with her husband. In the past she had faced many challenges as a single mother of four, struggling to make ends meet. However, the troubles of her past were nothing compared to the shocking news she received after going to the doctor for digestive problems. Exams revealed that Lilia was living with stage 4 colon cancer. After two surgeries and radiation treatment her cancer did not abate; instead it spread to her lungs and bones where it now resides. To say that Lilia's life is an uphill battle is an understatement. However, with her faith and easy-going demeanor Lilia takes it in stride. She embraces her Christian faith, realizing how much the Lord's love, caring family, and friends have been her motivation and hope.

Five years later in 2009 our youngest brother, Marco, was diagnosed with lymphoma in his throat, a predominately rare cancer for men his age. For the majority of his life, Marco has been a fitness fanatic - a workout guru of sorts. After three years of surgeries, treatments, and medications the cancer has slowed him down. Like most people, Marco has his good and bad days. On his good days one can undoubtedly find him at the gym administering his own physical therapy. With his witty sense of humor and his "no surrender, no retreat" attitude Marco remains optimistic. Unfortunately laughter is not always the best medicine and optimism is not always enough. As Marco says, "All I do is think through my sleepless nights. It's hard to have a bleak and uncertain future." But with the morning comes a rejuvenated mindset as he volunteers for cancer research at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Treatment Center in Houston, TX. He firmly believes that no one should endure hunger, homelessness, or this disease. His hope is that M.D. Anderson will find a cure, even if it is at his own life's expense.

Living through this all is my mother, Beatriz Castillo. In her lifetime she has faced many hardships. On October 31, 1967 her husband and my father, a decorated WWII veteran, passed away. My mother was left to raise her 14 children as a single parent, somehow managing to provide for our family despite our limited resources. In my mother's lifetime she has lost a brother, sister, and her daughter, Magdalena, to cancer. Despite all of this, my siblings and I know Beatriz to be calm and collected. We have seen her laugh and cry, but have never seen frustration, stress, depression or anxiety get the best of her. For the past few years Beatriz has tended to Lilia and Marco, caring for them as any mother would. But recently she has faced another devastating blow when she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Maintaining an iron will, my mother refuses to denounce God, her faith, or her credence.

On behalf of my family, I invite you to join us in supporting my sister Lilia, my brother Marco, and my mother Beatriz. This fund has been created in hopes of alleviating some of the debt that each of my family members faces as a result of their illnesses. Their surgeries, treatments, doctor's visits, and medications make it difficult for each person to stay afloat. Each of them struggles to pay for their daily living expenses that are now coupled with their amounting medical bills. We know that a long road is ahead, but as a family, we embrace every new day with rejuvenated morale and hope. Please join us in this battle. We thank you for your time, welcome your positive thoughts and prayers, and sincerely appreciate your generosity at any level.

With gratitude,
Cristina Garcia
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