Fire department holding blood drive to benefit infant battling cancer

Blake, Abigail and Blakely Estevez.

The Norco Area Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a blood drive to benefit the family of one of its own in a time of need.

The NAVFD is hosting the drive on behalf of Blakley “Bee” Estevez, who was diagnosed with cancer affecting her left kidney in January. Her father, Blake Estevez, is a longtime volunteer fireman with the department. For every blood donation made in Blakely’s name, The Blood Center will issue a monetary payment to the family to help with out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The event will be held May 13 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Norco Central Fire Station (651 West B Street in Norco).

Jambalaya plate lunches will also be sold for $10 during the drive to benefit the family. There will also be a raffle for the cause.

“A couple of our local firemen got together and wanted to do something for (Blake Estevez) and his family,” said Natalie Wright, medical officer for the Norco Fire Department. “So, we just wanted to help with that financial burden they’re going through and decided to do a blood drive and mix that with a plate lunch to raise some money to help.”

She said despite his personal hardship, Blake has remained somebody his community has been able to count on.

“On top of him worrying about his family, he’s still going to work. He’s going out there and dedicating his time to serving his community,” Wright said.

Blake and his wife Abigail learned on Jan. 27 that a lump detected in their daughter’s belly was indicative of cancer. Blakely was sent to Children’s Hospital to get blood work and a CT scan. After the tests were complete, it was determined that she had a tumor on her left kidney and a small lesion on her right kidney. Doctors decided to start with six weeks of chemotherapy to shrink the mass on Blakely’s left kidney before removing it and to hopefully eliminate the lesion on her right kidney before it progresses.

The Norco family was dealt this blow as they are in the midst of a lapse in health insurance due to a window of time between jobs for Blake, and there is still fallout to deal with from the major damage the Estevez home incurred from Hurricane Ida.

$20 raffle tickets will allow for the chance to win prizes including a bowfishing trip for three people, a Rajun Cajun Airboat tour, Somer’s Salon gift certificate, auto detailing gift certificate, a Custom Kimber 1011 TLE RLII with ceramic coated custom grip and compensator, plus more.

Appointments will be honored and walk-ins are also welcomed.

In addition to helping the Estevez family, a blood donation will also do a part in helping to shore up what’s become a nationwide shortage, with all blood types needed.

All blood donations will also be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.





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