Family holding fundraiser for father of nine diagnosed with leukemia - East Idaho News

Family holding fundraiser for father of nine diagnosed with leukemia

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IDAHO FALLS – Last April, Isabel Badillo received news that no college student who is away from home wants to hear.

Her father, Miguel Badillo, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

“I’m actually a student at the University of Idaho, so when I found out, I was eight hours away. It was hard for me, but he’s such a strong man that he requested only one thing of his kids, and it was just to keep on going,” says Isabel. “He told me to continue on with my semester because I found out only two weeks before finals week.”

Earlier that month, Miguel, a father of nine and grandfather to one with another on the way, began complaining of stomach pain. He visited his doctor, who told him that he needed to go to the hospital immediately.

“At first, we were all really optimistic, but then we found out that it is a fast-acting cancer that is both rare in adults and will damage his bones, so it was kind of a double whammy,” Isabel says. “He’s having chemotherapy every other day, and he’s away from his family in Salt Lake this whole entire time. It’s really touch and go, but he’s really trying his best to beat this.”

Miguel Badillo at the hospital in Salt Lake City, where he is receiving treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. | Photo courtesy of Isabel Badillo.

After his diagnosis, Miguel’s family jumped into action and began planning a fundraiser to help pay for Miguel’s medical expenses, including an estimated three- to six-month hospital stay in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Since he’s been gone, we’ve been listening to him and we’ve kept going on. We’ve been working really hard on this fundraiser to get a high turnout. But we definitely do struggle with the fact that our dad is struggling right now, but his optimism and strength are what keep us going,” says Isabel. “This fundraiser definitely has been a way to put all of our fears into something that‘s really positive and optimistic, and it’s amazing to see how many people are the same way.”

The fundraiser called “Ride with Mig”, is themed after his love for the outdoors, specifically riding his Harley motorcycle with friends and family.

“My dad, it just totally makes sense because he loves the outdoors. He is into archery, hunting, and all that kind of stuff,” says Isabel. “And it would just make sense that he would want to drive something that makes him the most outside, right? He can go and feel the air and all of that kind of stuff.”

Miguel (right) and his brother, Raul Badillo Jr. (left). | Photo courtesy of Isabel Badillo.

Even Miguel’s place of work, Eagle Eye Produce, has made their mark by helping out with the event.

“My siblings, they all work for the same company. The majority of them work for my dad at Eagle Eye Produce,” says Isabel. “(They) have definitely been a big help with it. They’ve been able to find several donations from Chick-fil-A, Starbucks; there are more than six (businesses) who have donated stuff for the auction at our fundraiser.”

The fundraiser on Saturday, June 17, will begin with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. at Grand Teton Harley Davidson in Idaho Falls, before a group ride on the Alpine-Jackson loop.

The fundraiser will continue at 6 p.m. at Freeman Park at 6 p.m. with a potato bar and silent auction with donations from Garcia’s Street Tacos, Museum of Idaho, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Jalisco’s Mexican Restaurant and many more.

There will also be a live auction at 7:30 p.m.

If you’d like to donate toward Miguel’s medical expenses, the fundraiser will be accepting donations all of June through their Venmo account and at the fundraiser.

You can access the Venmo account through the QR code on the flyer here.

To follow along with Miguel and his medical journey, visit the fundraiser’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.