EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Borderland family who lost its parents to cancer have made a $250,000 donation to University Medical Center and they want to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer.
Monday, Nov. 20, the infusion center at UMC was officially renamed the Jesus and Sherry Rios Family Infusion Center.
The renaming was also used to raise awareness during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month which is November.
Michelle Catucci, the daughter of Jesus and Sherry Rios, said she lost both of her parents to cancer — her father to stage 4 liver cancer six years ago and her mother to stage 4 pancreatic cancer a year ago this month.
The money will be used so patients can get the latest treatments and tests, regardless of their financial means, Catucci said.
She added that her mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2022 and died in November of that year.
“From the time she was diagnosed, we had no clue,” she said. “She had no symptoms. The only reason they picked it up was she was going in for routine lab work and her labs came back this time as abnormal.”
A CT scan discovered a mass that had encompassed her entire pancreas, Catucci said.
Many pancreatic cancer patients don’t have any symptoms when they are diagnosed and oftentimes it is too late, Catucci said.
She said her and her brothers want to make sure that patients get the treatment they need and want to make sure they are not held back by lack of money.
To learn more about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, click here.
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