The American Cancer Society estimates 10,590 children in the U.S under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
Many of them will lose health benefits when they turn 18 years old.
Candlelighters of El Paso is working to help those young adults who have aged out of medical benefits.
Jorge Gudino was diagnosed when he was nine years old and said he didn’t have a normal childhood.
He was in and out of the hospital and had to take extra care of himself.
“All the chemotherapy really took a toll on me. I was always weak, but I really tried to continue smiling through it all,” Gudino said.
Candlelighters of El Paso has played a major role in his life by helping his family financially through out his cancer journey.
“They always want kids to have the best experience, even through medical treatments.”
At 21 years old, Jorge said he is in good health, but always fears that the cancer may return.
The last time he saw his doctor that he visited for so many years as a child, Jorge was 18 years old.
“Through out my whole experience with cancer I had help from the government, from social security, but at the age of 18 all of that was taken away,” Gudino said.
He can’t afford to go to his former doctor, Candlelighters of El Paso helps him find other doctors for regular check ups.
Gudino is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso and an instructor at a local dance studio.
His income, though, is not enough to pay for some of the medical bills.
“I will continue to make the best of it,” Gudino said.