Within one hour, 450 barbecue plates were sold out during the Jocelyn Strong BBQ Fundraiser on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Chile Bandera. All proceeds were given to Rachel and Joe Lopez to benefit their 5-yearold daughter Jocelyn, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) on September 3. She immediately started treatments.
Due to some breathing issues, Jocelyn had to be sedated and put on a ventilator for eight days in the Pediatric ICU. She was improving and then she developed a bacterial infection that they are currently treating with two antibiotics. However, due to everything, she had to be sedated and go back on the ventilator again. She’s had one bone marrow extraction, a port placed, two spinal fluid chemo treatments and four regular chemo treatments. She still has a few more weeks in the hospital with treatments. When she leaves the hospital she will have to be in isolation for six months due to her lack of immune system.
The fundraiser consisted of BBQ brisket cooked by award winning Pit Master, San Antonio’s own Kiolbassa Sausage, Chile Bandera’s famous rice and beans with all the fixings, plus a drink for $10 a plate. Baked goods, Jocelyn Strong T-shirts and bracelets and a raffle also took place. The fundraiser was sold out of BBQ plates within one hour and when all was said and done, raised $12,265. Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Campbellton also made a donation of $10,000 to Jocelyn bringing the grand total to $22,265.
“We are so appreciative of all the love and support we have received. This place has been home to us for several years and the community really showed us just why we call it home,” said Rachel.
The fundraiser was put on by Rick and Amanda Luna, friends and family.
“Thank you for all your donations and hard work [Sunday] at the benefit. It was greatly appreciated,” said Amanda Luna.
Jocelyn is currently in Phase 2 of her treatment called “Consolidation” where she is receiving 60 days of different chemo treatments. Afterwards, she will enter Phase 3 in which she will receive 29 days of different chemo treatments. It’s the hope that she will be in full remission by mid-January. Her parents hope to throw a huge celebration to thank everyone who has surrounded the family with love, support and prayer.
“She has good and bad days, but overall is in good spirits,” said Rachel. “We look forward to mid- January and are really grateful to the community for everything. We appreciate each and every one of you.”