BRAWLEY â€“ Ralph and Ida Fernandez teamed up with Hacienda Snack Bar owner, Mario Castaneda, to help support financially and emotionally their cousin Jacob Esquivel, who recently was diagnosed with Chronic Leukemia.Â This form of cancer cannot be totally cured according to the Fernandezâ€™, but once under control, Jacob is expected to lead a normal life.
Unfortunately, a normal life will mean taking a chemo pill for the rest of his life.
Jacob, 32, at present is without a job and has no insurance. His wife, Alexandra, took a leave of absence from her job to help her husband as he battles cancer.Â They have two children, 8-year-old Cain, and 22 month Chloe.
â€œThe community has really come together to help Jacob,â€ Ralph Fernandez said. â€œWe just had someone who battled cancer in his own family buy 30 tickets. The BUHS Softball team donated their time this afternoon to be our runners and almost all of the food supplies were donated by other people who love the Esquivel family.â€
Jacob is part of the Esquivelâ€™s who own Green Patch Nursery, a popular landscaping and plant nursery operated by his parents, Barbara and Richard Esquivel.
Ralphâ€™s Brother, Ernie, who now resides in Sacramento, is down helping with the prep work as they ready for the expected 450 people who purchased tickets to come to the Hacienda Snack Shop to pick up their Barbacoa dinner.
The tickets have been pre-sold but are also available at the restaurant for $10. The money will be donated to the Jacob Esquivel Cancer Relief Fund.
Mario Castaneda, who hosted the Esquivel fundraiser at his restaurant on K Street, has so many fundraisers at his business throughout the year, he couldnâ€™t even estimate how many he helps with. â€œWe help school clubs, those needing money for medical care, sports teams, you name it, weâ€™ve helped. This fundraiser is great because so many people are volunteering and pitching in to help. We do some school club fundraisers and itâ€™s only the organizer, us, and a few parents helping.â€
Ralph Fernandez agreed about the helpers. â€œIâ€™ve had to camp out here at Marioâ€™s to sell tickets to everyone coming, and if Iâ€™m not here, they head over to the St. Mary Margaret Church down the road knowing Jacobâ€™s grandmother, Joby Ruiz, would be there. So she sold tickets, too.
Tickets, and the barbacoa plate, are available Wednesday night from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at The Hacienda Snack Bar at 941 K Street in Brawley. Tickets sell for $10. All proceeds go the Jacob Esquivel Relief Fund.