Fresno Girl Battles Rare Cancer, Friends Organize Fundraisers
Battling cancer can be tough for anyone.
But imagine getting the diagnosis at just eight years old.
Isabel Anderson complained to her parents in March that she had double-vision.
By April, she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG.
The rare cancer affects about 300 children nationwide every year.
"There is no known cause, there is no known cure. Right now, we are in a clinical trial to help get a cure for DIPG, increase the survival rate and get Isabel through this," said Jonas Anderson, Isabel's father.
The Viking Elementary student is receiving treatment at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.
She is in the fourth of six weeks of radiation.
Her father says it's not the cancer, but the treatments that are affecting Isabel the most.
Her right hand and right foot aren't listening to her body.
Walking is toughsmiling, too.
Even so, she's thinking of others.
She held a snow cone sale, raising $104 to find a cure for childhood cancer.
But it's gonna take a lot more than that...and she's got plenty people in her corner ready to deliver cancer, a knockout punch.
"She's the kind of person you want around because she's a good leader and a role model," says Rudy Carrillo, Isabel's Sensei at Fresno Ultimate Martial Arts.
"It hit so hard, close to home, that it's unreal."
Medical bills are mounting for the Andersons.
They are staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Stanford, but still make trips back home.
Keeping the refrigerator stocked and gas in their car is a struggle.
"Unfortunately we can't do much on the medical side, but we can do our best to support the family any way we can."
So, Carrillo has organized a kick-a-thon September 6th.
I want financial stress to be the last thing they worry about. I want them to focus on their daughter, spend time with her," he says.
The Kick-a-Thon is open to the public, and those participating can get sponsors.
The family is also holding a fundraising concert at People's Church on Friday, August 22 at 7:00 p.m. but because it's in the small Worship Arts Choir rehearsal room, you may want to watch online by clicking here. (Donations can be made online)
If you can't make it to either event, but still want to help, the family has an online fundraising account. You can access it by clicking here.
You can keep up with Isabel's progress on her family's Facebook page.