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200 El Paso families battling childhood cancer to receive $100 through fundraiser

Ida Barnes
Delilah Rodriguez waits for an exam while battling cancer.

EL PASO, Texas -- Two hundred El Paso families are set to receive help this Christmas from a mother who just wanted to do something nice for others this holiday season.

What unites the mom and the families is all of them have a child who is battling cancer.

Ida Barnes' daughter Delilah Rodriguez has had two cancer diagnoses before the age of four.

Delilah's latest bout came in the form of a tumor found during a brain scan in November. That came 16 months after Delilah's final chemotherapy treatment for tumors on her pituitary glands.

"She had her port removed in October because we thought it was over with. So they had to reinsert her port," Barnes said in an interview with ABC-7.

Chemotherapy and health complications kept Delilah hospitalized for two weeks.

"I had a lot of time to think about a lot of stuff," said Barnes. She felt helpless because the pandemic limited who could be with Delilah when the toddler was in the hospital. But Barnes also knew things could be worse.

"I see a lot of families in and out of the hospital and they are losing their jobs," she said. "I am blessed that I have a really good job that lets me work from home when I need to."

Barnes reached out to Candlelighters of El Paso, a local organization that assists families of children fighting cancer.

With their help, she organized a fundraiser for the 200 families; Candlelighters is currently assisting.

"My goal is to raise $100 for each of the families that Candlelighters is serving and to give to them in this Christmas season," Barnes said. "There are families that are in the hospital for more than a month and they have children back at home that they need to take care of as well."

Barnes hopes the small gift allows the families to focus on what really matters: their children's recovery.

"The smile on my little girl, she just helps me to get through, and get up in the morning," Barnes said. "It's worth it. It's worth the fight and it's worth every single step of the way."

El Paso / News / Video

Stephanie Valle

Stephanie Valle co-anchors ABC-7 at 5, 6 and 10 weeknights.


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