EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Gold Out El Paso is raising awareness of childhood cancer with their T-shirts and the support they provide to kids battling cancer.
Eileen Montelongo, creator of Gold Out El Paso, said they are creating another T-shirt this year in honor of all tho who have lost their battle to cancer. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month and is usually marked with gold color, which Montelongo said is not always recognizable.
“We want to turn El Paso gold before it turns pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” she said.
One of the organization’s goals is to bring awareness to the local community about how common childhood cancer is.
“We have our warriors from El Paso, Las Cruces, Juarez that come here and battle cancer, it’s very close in our community,” she explained.
Montelongo’s husband Erik is a pediatric oncology nurse at the El Paso Children’s Hospital and she said interacting with sick children daily inspired him to do something to make their days brighter even when going through such a hard time.
Montelongo and her husband met a boy named Eros, who was one of Erik’s patients. He was diagnosed with cancer just a day after his graduation. Montelongo said Eros passed away, leaving them with a feeling of immense loss that made them start up Gold Out El Paso.
With toys, candy and all sorts of fun activities, they also help their families financially, who frequently struggle after paying for cancer treatment and travel that often goes along with it.
Valerie Hernandez has been alongside her almost 5-year-old son, Isaiah, battling a brain tumor for a year and a half.
During this time, she said, Gold Out offered her the support that she needed.
“They became family, they became the people we talked to, the people we cried with, the people we needed anything from, they were all there. It was very nice,” Hernandez said.
Her son Isaiah has now received his last cancer treatment.
Gold Out included Isaiah’s name on their newly designed T-shirt designed by Viva La Mocha that includes all their superheroes who beat cancer, their warriors who are still fighting and those who have lost battle with cancer.
You can purchase a Gold Out El Paso T-shirt on their website: goldoutelpaso.com. All proceedings will go to children battling cancer and their families.