SURROUNDED BY WELL-WISHERS

Juan Gonzalez, who works for SVID, will undergo stem cell transplant Sept. 5 as part of his two-year battle with cancer, holds his 18-month-old granddaughter Alahni as Sophia Castillo gives her a squeeze on the cheeks. Last Friday his wife’s family hosted a fundraiser at the Sunnyside Food Truck Park in Centennial Square to help cover expenses.

SUNNYSIDE — The past two years have not been easy ones for the Juan Gonzalez family as the husband and father of eight children has battled two different types of cancer.

What started as the flu that wouldn’t go away, Gonzalez started losing weight, “I just couldn’t get any better,” he said.

Then he learned in March 2018, he had Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After undergoing many chemo treatments, Gonzalez still wasn’t getting any better.

“It was rough, because while I was sick from the chemo, I kept working,” the SVID warehouse manager explained.

More tests revealed he had a rare form of b cell cancer - T-cell Histocyte rich defused large B cell Lymphoma, a cancer which typically affects middle aged men.

Gonzalez, who is in his late forties, will travel to Seattle for the first of more than three months of treatment to kill the disease, explained his wife Becky.

“He will undergo a stem cell transplant Sept. 5,” she explained.

Following the transplant, Gonzales will undergo a series of chemo treatments, basically three days in a row.

“I’ll be in and out of the hospital every other day,” he commented.

“We’ll have to stay close to the hospital, to make sure he doesn’t tire too much,” she added.

Gonzalez, who worked for SVID for more than 20 years is expected to be out of work for the duration. But, he added, “my boss, Chris Gardner, has been very supportive.”

Couple’s extended family is now holding fundraisers to help with the housing and travel expenses Juan and Becky will face during the coming months.

Friday, Aug. 23, the Gonzalez family and Mrs. Gonzales’s sisters held a fundraiser at the Sunnyside Food Truck Park to raise money for the coming three -month stay in the Seattle area.

“My wife has a large family and they are all here supporting us,” he said, adding he is grateful for the love and community support.

“It’s humbling to know there are so many people willing to help,” he declared.

A spaghetti feed is also being planned, but no dates has been set.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.