They’re the ones people usually call for help, but on Sunday night, hundreds of residents came together to help an Elkhart police officer.
Jesus Contreras’ two-year-old daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed with a tumor behind her eye and a form of muscle cancer a few months ago.
Taylor’s treatment will cost at least $150,000 – insurance will only cover $140,000 of that.
So, several Elkhart County emergency response agencies teamed up to host Buckets 4 Taylor at Concord High School Sunday night. Three-on-three teams could sign up ahead of time for $100 or at the event for $120. All of the money will go toward Taylor’s medical costs.
“She’s going to have to sustain an 8-month chemotherapy where they’re going down to Riley once a week,” said Elkhart County Sheriff’s Deputy Bob Smith. “And then she’s also got to do radiation therapy.”
But Jesus’ co-workers aren’t letting him go through the long, painful process alone. In addition to raising money for the family, they’ve been there to help out with his three other kids while Jesus and his wife deal with Taylor’s medical issues.
“In law enforcement, it’s a brotherhood,” said Elkhart Police Corporal Andy Rucker. “He’s part of our family. No matter what color uniform you wear, whether it’s blue or brown, it’s one of the family. So, it’s just a family stepping up to help a family.”
It’s not just the brotherhood that’s lending a hand to the Contreras family. As Taylor’s story spreads, so does the generosity.
“Had a lady come in today and dropped off a basket,” said Senior Elkhart Police Chaplain Jim Bontrager. “Apparently she’d made a little afghan or something like that. We’ve had others stop by with financial contributions.”
So many people have helped out the $10,000 difference in what Taylor’s treatment costs and what insurance will pay is covered. But money is still being collected to help curb the costs of the rest of Taylor’s care.
People can donate by visiting Buckets4Taylor.com.