WALLINGTON, N.J. — Borough resident Veronica Jackson is helping raise funds through a GoFundMe account for her cousin, Bernadette Vargas, of Fair Lawn, who was diagnosed with Stage II cancer in both breasts two months ago.
Vargas, a single mother of three, lost her job, leaving her without income or health coverage to support her children.
The online account — Bernadette's Battle Against Cancer — raised $2,737 in its first three weeks. The goal is $6,000.
“It’s a disgusting nightmare,” Jackson told the Daily Voice. “It’s gotten to the point where [Vargas] doesn’t want to open her mail because the bills are just piling up.”
Vargas, 45, was recently approved for charity care but is still required to reimburse her former company for the insurance that early on covered doctors appointments, medications and two chemotherapy treatments.
"I know that I am blessed and extremely lucky for all that my children and I have," said Vargas, only moments before undergoing her third chemotherapy treatment yesterday. "Through the bad there always is good and it makes you appreciate the good much more."I know it happened for a reason. My blessings far outweigh anything that cancer throws my way."
Jackson is hopeful a scheduled walk in Wayne on Saturday, Oct. 4, will help raise more money for Vargas. The 8 a.m. walk includes breakfast and giveaways at University Imaging on the St. Joseph’s Hospital campus.
“[Vargas] is a person who’s always there for everyone else,” Jackson said. “While [another relative] was battling cancer she was the first one to help him.
“She really doesn’t feel like she’s deserving," she said. "She’s just so humble and appreciative of the smallest things.
“It’s beautiful and it breaks my heart at the same time.”
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