By Enos Herkshan, Staff Reporter
Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico raises money for students who have undergone treatment for childhood cancer in New Mexico.
This event consists of both live and silent auctions, a Pro-Am golf tournament, and a fundraiser gala all benefiting the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico (CCFNM).
July 9 and 10, 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the Erin Trujeque Memorial, established in 1985 after the loss of twelve-year-old cancer patient Erin Trujeque.
The gala will be on July 9 at the Albuquerque Convention Center, is $100 for an individual dinner ticket and is open for anyone to attend.
The golf tournament will be on July 9 and 10 at the UNM Championship Golf Course.
“The scholarship is designed to help kids who have been diagnosed with and treated for childhood cancer in New Mexico and wish to continue their education beyond high school,” said Diana Trujeque, CCFNM executive director and mother to namesake of the Erin Trujeque Memorial Scholarship.
They help patients all the way from infancy to the age of eighteen, she said.
Once they have reached the college age they are eligible to apply for the scholarship, she said.
Students will need to fill certain requirements in order to be accepted, but there is no cut off to how many students can receive funding, she said.
One of the requirements is that the applicant must complete at least twelve hours of community service at the CCFNM, she said.
According to Diana Trujeque, $367,000 was raised in 2014 at the Erin Trujeque Memorial event to go to this scholarship fund and the CCFNM.
She said that this is just one program within the locally established non-profit organization and just one of its many functions.
“It’s not a contest, every student who applies, as long as we have an intake form on them saying that they were treated in New Mexico either at UNM or Presbyterian Hospital, they can apply for the scholarship.”
Trujeque said that another purpose of the organization is to serve as financial assistance for children cancer patients across the state of New Mexico and their families.
She said that travel is one of the most common ways in which they help.
Not all families are from Albuquerque and driving, back and forth, to and from treatments and recovery appointments can be very costly, she said.
“The Children’s Cancer Fund is to help New Mexico’s children with cancer in their families cope with the day to day educational, emotional, and financial needs of living with and fighting cancer,” she said.
CCFNM helps families with food, living and automotive expense among other things. Automotive costs include gas for travel as well as maintenance to keep their vehicles running.
Funding is also provided to help these young fighters enjoy childhood and have toys and entertainment like any other kid.
Accommodations are made in various ways to help families with their basic living needs; rent, utilities, lodging if long-term trips are necessary, and other emergency costs are all possible ways in which the CCFNM can help, Trujeque said.
The CCFNM is a maximum proficiency charity by New Mexicans and for New Mexicans.
Trujeque said that the CCFNM donates 80 percent of its money raised directly to services related to the treatment of children cancer patients.
One way for to raise funds for this memorial, other than charitable donations and several other methods, is the auction.
Patients work to provide items they make themselves for the public to bid on and take home, she said.