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Pueblo woman struggling to keep young grandson alive after cancer relapse as bills pile up

PUEBLO, Colo.(KRDO) -- A Pueblo grandmother is scrambling to cover the costs of her grandson's hospital treatments after losing her son and his father.

On June 11, 2021, 10-year-old Damien Manzanares was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as (ALL). That diagnosis came just two days before he lost his father.

Manzanares' grandmother, Mary Ann Medina-Trujillo, has focused her energy on taking care of him.

"I had to take over and get guardianship," explained Medina-Trujillo. "It was basically emergency guardianship at that point so that I could sign all of the consent forms to have the procedures move forward."

He spent two years in and out of a hospital fighting for his life while grieving the loss of his father.

"He lost daddy during this most devastating time in his life," said Medina-Trujillo.

According to Medina-Trujillo, Manzanares went into remission. But a year later in October 2022, he relapsed.

With Manzanares relapsing and being hospitalized in Denver, Medina-Trujillo told KRDO it's taking everything she has to afford his treatments.

"I worked up until we had to start coming in-patient. So I was going back and forth to work and to the hospital for the night. It started financially drained my savings. It just gets expensive," said Trujillo.

In January, he went through a bone marrow transplant. Medina-Trujillo told KRDO they're just playing the waiting game, hoping his body doesn't reject the treatment.

"They say that the worst part is probably between the seventh and tenth day and we'll start finding out if it's going to take or not," explained Medina-Trujillo.

According to Medina-Trujillo, her grandson will stay in the hospital for at least six months. But it could be longer depending on how his body responds to the treatment.

"It's just- it's just been a nightmare that I hope we get to wake up from," said Medina-Trujillo.

If you would like to donate to the family's online fundraiser, click here.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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