“Life is bittersweet. The trick, I guess, is to know when you’re in the bitter and when you’re in the sweet.”
—Margot Murphy, the inspiration behind the Love From Margot Foundation
It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at the Love From Margot Foundation, with three new clients being approved for support, all of them residents of the Coachella Valley region who are battling cancer.
Meanwhile, our founder Mike Murphy has been traveling on the East Coast, promoting his newly released book Love Unfiltered, which tells the story of the inspiration behind our work. Mike remarked on how even the most hardened New York media types were genuinely moved by hearing about Margot and the work that is now being done in her memory. All proceeds from the book go directly to the Love From Margot Foundation, so we’re thrilled that it’s getting such a warm response.
After returning from New York, Mike traveled to Southern California to meet our new grantees. He shared this moving story about one of those meetings:
“What would your mother want,” I asked, “financial support or a breast?” I was speaking to George, the 18-year-old son of a woman named Esperanza, at the Starbucks in Rancho Mirage. His 12-year-old sister Dayana was also with us. Esperanza had applied for a financial grant from the Love from Margot Foundation, but she doesn’t speak English, so her kids were acting as translators.
Esperanza came to the Coachella Valley more than 20 years ago from Mexico, initially working in the fields to gather our produce. There is little doubt in my mind that this is where she was exposed to chemicals that are now responsible for this 47-year-old woman having breast cancer.
I have worked with close to 20 women in the Coachella Valley this past year, all with some type of cancer. Most are Hispanic and on Medi-Cal. Medi-Cal provides insurance for 18 months, and the typical course of treatment for breast cancer in these cases seems to be a single or double mastectomy is performed, then chemotherapy, followed by radiation. After 18 months the patient is left with a deformed body, a ruined immune system, and no more insurance!
That is where Esperanza finds herself now. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, her husband was injured on the job, leaving them with less than $1,500 per month to live on. In her grant application, she wrote, “My self-esteem is very low, I really feel bad not having my breast reconstruction surgery but I no longer have insurance, can you help?”
That is why I asked her son which see would prefer. He repeated the words in Spanish, and with tears in her eyes, she replied, “a breast.” So that is what the LFMF will give her: a new breast. If you’d like to help, please donate here!