UPDATE ON MARCH 11, 2020 from Officer Benitez:
Bryan is still receiving treatment at Stanford Children’s hospital. Soon he will get to come home and will be receiving treatment at Lucille Packard Stanford children’s hospital as an out patient. Bryan still hasn’t hit remission yet but hoping he will soon hit remission. Once he hits remission they will prepare him for a stem cell transplant.
COALINGA - When California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member Luz Maria Benitez reached out to CSLEA for help in January 2019, she knew her family was going to have the toughest year of their lives…and they did, but 2020 is looking to be even more difficult, so once again, CSLEA is letting its members know three ways in which any one who wishes to, can help.
BACKGROUND: Benitez is a hospital police officer at Coalinga State Hospital. Her son, Bryan, age 7, has been bravely battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) for four years. Following a remission that gave the Benitez family hope, Bryan had a major setback in 2018 and again in 2019. He has already undergone a bone marrow transplant and is now in need of a stem cell transplant.
“Right now my son is undergoing Car-T cell immunotherapy in hope that we can get him back into remission before considering a stem cell transplant after his bone marrow transplant was unsuccessful, but we must be ready with a donor so we are setting up a drive to get people registered and tested to be a stem cell donor,” said Benitez. “All donors must be between 18 and 44 years old and healthy. The first step is just a cheek swab and some paperwork, it will take just ten minutes, it can also be done at home by having a kit mailed to you!”
In response to questions of how people can help, the Benitez family set up a GoFund me account to help with travel and medical expenses. Bryan has spent most of his time hospitalized at Lucille Packard Stanford Children’s Hospital.
Last year a catastrophic time bank was set up for Officer Benitez and it remains open for donated leave by fellow state employees.
“I am so very grateful for the generosity of our CSLEA and state worker family,” said Officer Benitez. “When you’re fighting for your child’s life, you can’t always be at work, but you need your job and your health insurance.”
WAYS TO HELP:
Catastrophic Time Bank - State employees wishing to donate leave can do so by going to their respective personnel office, filling out a donation form, and providing the contact information of Coalinga State Hospital’s personnel specialist: Carly Shales, Personnel Specialist, Department of State Hospitals – Coalinga, (559)935-7218, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stem Cell Donor Drive - http://join.bethematch.org/swabforbryan or visit donor drive February 18, 2020 from 3 pm – 7pm at Coalinga High School Hub, 750 Van Ness Street, Coalinga, CA 93210. Email Joyce Valdez for more information at email@example.com.
Gofundme - Bryan’s Cancer Fight (Second Relapse) https://www.gofundme.com/f/1v8ltuhto0?utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=cd6309835be04c5d85ac24beca4fa118
“Please read about how you can help by being a stem cell donor, it is not as scary and hard as you may have imagined, and you could save a life!” said Officer Benitez. “Thank you in advance for your help, your prayers and your good wishes. This is a difficult time for us, but with your positive thoughts we are up for the challenge.”