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Oct 21, 2021

Fundraiser this Weekend For Leukemia Patient

A ten year old St. Ignatius Primary School Student, Cordella Duran, has been battling leukemia since 2018. She completed chemo earlier this year. But recently, she has not been feeling well. Her doctor in Merida has advised her mother to take her in for an urgent checkup. They are planning to travel in two weeks. But, Cordella’s mounting medical bills and expenses have depleted the financial resources of this single mother and her three children. So, to raise funds for travel and lodging, a barbeque sale is being organized on behalf of Cordella for this coming Saturday. Paul Lopez visited the family where he met this courageous young fighter and her selfless mom.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

From the outside, ten year old Cordella Duran looks like any normal child would. But internally, she has been battling leukemia for the past three years.


Cordella Duran

Cordella Duran, Cancer Survivor

“When I found out I had cancer I started to take chemo. When I was combing my hair I see hair is falling out. But, I showed my mom. My mom started to cry. When she showed the doctor the doctor said it will be so because she is losing her hair, and it will grow back. So I had to start using a wig. But, I said I will not use wig again, I have to be strong. I will not be ashamed anymore. So I actually start using no wig. I just showed my hair. I had to stay bald. I was not ashamed. And then when my hair started to grow back I started crying because I never expected how pretty it will grow back. So my mom start to cry too cause she see me cry.”


Her mom, Delilah Arana, a single mother, was forced to quit her job as a teacher in order to care for her daughter.


Delilah Arana

Delilah Arana, Mother

“I had to quit my job. It was a sudden thing, because I wouldn’t be able to perform my job, and knowing that her situation was critical, and that we needed to travel, they gave us couple days to travel out. My life changes, I can say my life changed. I gave up everything; in order for make sure we can do our first trip. I sold out everything from my house. I sold out everything you can imagine. It has been rough. Honestly it has been a long journey. A rough journey.”


They have since made several trip to Mexico for check-ups, but when the pandemic began, those trips stopped. Due to mounting medical bills and expenses, Cordella’s mother has been unable to afford the care her daughter needs. So, even after completing her chemo treatment, Cordella has not yet returned to her doctor in Mexico to find out if she is cancer free.


Delilah Arana

“Expense, I still have a bill at Karl Heusner right now, six thousand nine hundred and seventy eight dollars. I still have a bill right now that they keep calling me about when I will pay. I can’t. When the COVID started we started to go to Dangriga every Tuesday. We started by bus and after that we had to rent vehicle. So every Tuesday I made sure to have three hundred dollars set aside for that. She finished her treatment in Dangriga this year, but she still has to go for her doctor every month and she has to do a blood test every end of month, which everything is money. Blood test yes is twenty dollars. Twenty dollars, sometimes is hard for me to find. So she had missed several blood test, I won’t lie. She has missed several blood tests, because the finance is not there. And people will say, oh only twenty dollars, but sometimes to me that feel like a million dollars.”


In addition to those expenses, Delilah shared with us that she has an outstanding bill of one thousand three hundred dollars with the electricity company.  To feed her family and take care of her daughter, Delilah is using her teaching skills.  Since June she has been assisting neighboring children at five dollars an hour.


Cordella Duran

“I always tell myself Cordella have faith. I always tell my mom, I know I have a feeling my cancer is gone. I just feel like that, I do not feel I have cancer anymore. My mom always tell me have faith, and that is what I have.”


Cordella must now take an urgent trip to her doctor in Merida, because she has been feeling a pain in her body similar to her early symptoms. While hopeful, her mother fears the worst.


Delilah Arana

“Honestly, I don’t even want to think about it. Because, I have that fear still, because even though we live on faith, I have that fear. I don’t want to hear that news, and to begin that process all over again. It is rough, it is rough, honestly.”


Paul Lopez

“But if you had to..”


Delilah Arana

“If I had to do it all over again, honestly I will. Because at least, I am saving her life. Thank God, she is here with me still. She finished her treatment, but the pain is coming back.”


To raise the funds they need to for travel and lodging, Delilah is organizing a barbeque sale for Saturday, at her residence, located at number thirty Neal Pen Road.


Cordella Duran

“Its really a long journey. If it wasn’t for my mom I would not have to be here today. But, thanks to my mom for making I survive today. It really cost a lot of money actually. It’s really far; everything is a hard time for us.”


It was hard watching Cordella break down in tears. Her mom consoled her and gave her the courage to continue sharing what she wanted to share with us about her plans for the future.


Cordella Duran

“I decide to be maybe a doctor a doctor or a lawyer.”


Paul Lopez

“Why those two things?”


Cordella Duran

“I don’t know. Maybe my doctor in Merida does it for me. I tell my mom maybe I will do the same things for some people. But, I definitely think I will be a doctor, I am not sure yet. But, I think I will be a doctor.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


Persons wishing to purchase a barbeque can contact Delilah Arana at 6310335, by text, call or whatsapp. You can also find her on Facebook at Delilah Arana.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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