Woman Battling Lymphoma moves into new apartment


ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL-Fox35) --  Keishla Betancourt’s life in Puerto Rico was already in danger when Hurricane Maria struck. The 23 year old is battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and doctors said she had only two weeks to live.

“A clot that was going up very fast and was going to hit my heart in two weeks. If I didn't get out of Puerto Rico I would have probably died,” Betancourt explained.

After the hurricane, no hospital there could help her. She moved to Orlando for treatment, but didn't have a permanent place to live.

“Going through cancer and being worried about where you're going to live is not a good match,” Betancourt said.

Word got out through her church that Betancourt needed a home, and the community sprang to action.

“We have done everything possible, and Church of the Messiah has done everything possible, to help these families as much as we can,” said Manny Ayala, from the Episcopal Office of Latino Assistance.

On Saturday, they got Betancourt, her mom, and brother, an apartment, furniture, and money for food and essentials. Volunteers did everything they could to get the family moved in; cleaning windows, scrubbing floors, and delivering furniture.

“As you can see, there's a lot of grease, grime, and buildup,” said Tracy Dugger, from the Diocese of Central Florida, “so we as a church have partnered to clean this up so this is a place worthy of being called home.”

Betancourt says they're beyond thankful for the help. “Very much! I am... I am so grateful, as thankful as I am for the doctors, that's as grateful as I am to the people that have given their time.”

Now, with her cancer treatment and a place to call home, Betancourt said she's looking forward to going to school. She’s aiming to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a marine biologist.

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