When Eli Torrez, 24, received a cancer diagnosis, he thought about how to best ask for and receive support.
“It’s really hard when you don’t have anyone guiding you. No one spends their life preparing for a cancer diagnosis. [And] There are so many different people saying different things [regarding treatments.]”
How did you find YouCaring?
“I searched “medical crowdfunding on Google…and after some research on the site, I felt like you really wanted to help.”
“We do,” I confirm and smile.
The room is now filled with giggles and smiles, as Eli’s sister Eileen chimes in.
“He is the nicest, cutest, smartest person I know. Just kidding, he is a brat. We fought a lot growing up because we shared a room.” After another heartfelt laugh, Eli adds, “I remember it differently. We were like twins growing up. We were there for each other.”
Eileen nods in agreement and it’s clear that this brother and sister are here to support one another through life’s ups and downs, no matter what. Whether they are making music together or battling cancer, it’s a team effort. For Eileen, seeing Eli step up and start a campaign was enough inspiration to join in and support him. “We’ve always been close. We’ve always done little projects together. So when he started the fundraiser, I didn’t want him to run it alone, so I stepped in to help.”
“What’s the fundraising experience been like?” I ask.
Eli reflects, “I realized if I was asking for help I needed to let people know my reality, without shame. I am here to be an authentic person, and say what I feel.”
“I’m really proud of him actually.” Eileen continues. “I wasn’t sure how he would handle it. I think he probably handled it better than I would have.”
Both Eli and Eileen are grateful for the support they have received from their community, and also for how easy the fundraising experience has been. The day we meet, Eli is nearing the end of a cycle of chemo. He is calm, grounded, and present as he shares “The doctor says he is sure I will be cured.” And with these words, another smile, gratitude, and hope flows into the space.
To learn more about Eli and donate to his campaign, please visit here.