Festival raises money for 5-year-old Indio girl battling cancer

Festival raises money for 5-year-old Indio girl battling cancer

INDIO, Calif. - "The outpouring is just incredible, it's so heart-touching," said Carly Cechin, Desi's grandmother.

At the Believing For Desi fundraising festival at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio, people from all over came to help Desi's family raise the money they need for her cancer treatment.

"We embraced our own and came together to help out this girl," said event organizer Bear Simerson.

Desi will undergo a neuroblastoma surgery in New York next month. Her family learned recently it will be covered by insurance, but Desi's family says there are still many expenses that go along with the trip, and her recovery.
"She needs to get to about $300,000. We're trying to get to that amount with all the vendors, and food vendors so that's our goal," Simerson said.

So far about $200,000 has been raised through other community events and donations.

Desi couldn't be at the festival in her honor. She just finished her fifth round of chemotherapy at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, and is fighting to stay healthy enough for the surgery.

"Her spirits are good and she's a fighter. She knows she's going to New York and she knows how serious this is," Cechin said.

Her family wants everyone to know just how grateful Desi is for their support.

"She understands and she's working on her own little thank you cards with her pictures, and she wants to know about the people," Cechin said.

People who may never know Desi but wanted to lend a hand to give her a second chance at life.

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