Father hopes cancer-stricken son will get help from GoFundMe donors

Amid economic crisis, online fundraisers help Venezuelans in need

CARACAS – Jose Felix Diaz' life has turned upside down twice when his wife Marlyn Machado and 19-year-old son Gustavo Diaz were diagnosed with cancer. 

Machado, who suffered from uterine cancer, didn't make it. Gustavo's access treatment hasn't been easy. His oncologist said that he responded well to radiation therapy, but still needed six cycles of chemotherapy. 

After just one cycle of chemotherapy, the drugs for Gustavo's next cycle were not available. The family would have to travel to a foreign country, so that he could access treatment. 

"These two events have changed our life dramatically," Diaz said. 

Diaz is among the Venezuelans who have turned to social media to ask for foreign aid. While some students asking for help with buying plane tickets to flee the country, others are asking for help with scholarships. The most urgent pleas for help are related to medical treatments.  

Diaz said he is doing everything in his power to save his life amid a shortage of medication and a devaluation of Venezuelan currency. Since each vial is about $900 he is getting help from a GoFundMe effort to help them. 

John Jeffcoat Meszaros helped the family to set up the GoFundMe account from Clemson, South Carolina. In 3 months, 97 people have donated nearly $4,500. The goal is to collect $15,000. He posted a letter from Gustavo's oncologist. 

"The need for supplying medications and getting special tests is affected by the existence of a public and noted humanitarian crisis in Venezuela," Jeffcoat wrote. "