Ventura County

Ventura police deliver Easter baskets to kids battling cancer

Ventura Police deliver Easter baskets...

VENTURA, Calif. - Kids battling cancer and other diseases at Ventura County Medical Center celebrated Easter a little early thanks to the Ventura Police Department.

Over 140 Easter baskets were delivered to kids battling cancer and other diseases.

“We see kids come in sometimes everyday for treatment,” said Kim Milstien, the CEO of Ventura County Medical Center. “It is hard to have a normal family life when you have a very serious illness in the family, so any peace that we can provide to our children and our families is to give them some feeling some kind of a normal life.”

14-year-old Jay Melendez from Oak View makes the trip to Ventura once a month for treatment.

“I have leukemia and I have had it for about three years,” said Melendez.

“The treatment can be very difficult and we have great success,” said Francisco Bracho, director of pediatric hematologist-oncologist at VCMC. “More than 80 percent of children with cancer will survive, but it is quite a journey.”

To help make the journey a tad easier, the Ventura Police Department partnered up with the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation to make this celebration possible. The community also got involved and donated toys as well as baskets.

“I see socks, shoes laces, art supplies, candy,” said Melendez. “It’s cool. It is something that makes me feel better.”

Nearly 2,000 patients are seen every year at the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases. But on Monday and Tuesday, Miles, the Ventura Police K9, also made the trip to show some support.

“The families and especially the kids are going through some tough times right now, so we appreciated the opportunity to come out and bring at least a little cheer to their day and let them meet Miles,” said Jack Ortega, from Ventura Police K9 unit.

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