EL PASO, Texas - ABC-7's very own Estela Casas is partnering with the El Paso Community Foundation to create a fund to support women fighting breast cancer in our community.
During the launch of the fund, generous donors were announced.
Albertson's donated $50,000 to the Rio Grande Cancer Foundation, The Hospitals of Providence donated $50,000 and News-Press & Gazette, KVIA-TV's parent company, donated $50,000 to the American Cancer Society in Estela's name to further cancer research.
In addition to their corporate donation, Albertson's is launching a campaign in support of Stand with Estela at their 11 Borderland stores. Shoppers may make a donation to the fund at the register, either by placing cash in a collection box or by asking the cashier to add a donation to their bill. This campaign will run from October 13 through October 31st, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Casas, a longtime television anchor and health and education advocate, announced earlier this month that she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer.
Mayor Dee Margo shared during the announcement something his wife, Adair, said of Estela.
"She epitomizes what is great about El Paso," the mayor said. "Someone who grew up here, who was educated here, who made a name for herself here and who stayed here. That's what is important. She's committed to this community, and we are committed to her. We are with you and our prayers are with you. God Bless."
Hundreds of attendees stood up to recognize a woman who has dedicated so much of her life to the community.
"After reporting on breast cancer for more than three decades, I join the thousands women and men, it happens to men too, fighting against this potentially deadly disease," Estela said on-air on September 19, choking back tears.
The Stand with Estela Fund announced Thursday will help provide cancer support services to benefit women of limited means who are battling breast cancer. Donors can also choose to earmark their donation towards research.
"As one of more than 300,000 women in the United States who will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, I am blessed to have health insurance, a loving family, and the support of friends, coworkers and the community. Not all women battling breast cancer in the El Paso area have that," reads the fund's mission statement.
"The Stand With Estela Fund will provide financial support for a variety of things, like transportation to and from their chemotherapy, wigs, compression sleeves, maybe even flowers or a prayer blanket," said Casas.
Eric Pearson, president and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation, reminded attendees everyone was there not just to honor Estela, but to think about other women who have to deal with a very difficult time in their lives as they, too, battle breast cancer.
"If it weren't for Estela Casas and her vision to make sure that she is spreading the love and making sure that women who are going through this situation, fighting cancer, with compassion and trying to be the tide that comes in and raises all ships in this fight against cancer, we wouldn't be here," Pearson said.
Click here to donate to the Stand with Estela Fund.
Click here to learn more about breast cancer and resources available.
Click here to view more pictures from the event.