Erin Trujeque was diagnosed with cancer shortly after his 12th birthday. He died one year later. During that time he had numerous hospital stays and, like other children being treated for cancer, would much rather have been at home. Sadly, he was in the hospital and not at home when he died.
Over the past 31 years the Erin Trujeque Memorial has benefited the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico. In Erin’s memory, millions of dollars have been raised to help New Mexico’s children with cancer and their families cope with day-to-day needs of living with and fighting cancer. Through this effort, the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico has evolved from a small volunteer driven organization to one which serves hundreds of children and their families each year.
To honor Erin, who unselfishly wanted nothing for himself that he could not share with other children who were undergoing treatment for cancer, the CCFNM’s home away from home will bear his name…
Albuquerque is the only location of pediatric oncology care in the State of New Mexico. Some children being treated for childhood cancer must travel several hours to and from Albuquerque for their medical care. Different treatment protocols and reactions to medication may require that some families temporarily relocate to Albuquerque for their child to receive the medical care they need.
Sadly, not every child’s disease is responsive to treatment and requires end of life care where pain and symptoms need to be managed.
The only pediatric hospice program in New Mexico is also located in Albuquerque and only serves families living within an approximate 50-mile radius. This makes it necessary for families to decide whether their child remains in the hospital to die or to take them home, where specialized pediatric hospice care is not available.
In addition to managing pain and symptoms, hospice also offers critical emotional and spiritual support, providing respite care and supporting the family through bereavement.
Our mission is to provide a home away from home for children to receive pediatric hospice care when it is not available in their hometowns. At Erin’s Place a child will receive end of life care in a peaceful atmosphere where they can spend the end of their life as fully and with as much dignity as possible.
Erin’s Place may also serve as a temporary home for families whose children are required to stay in Albuquerque for extended periods of time because of their treatment protocols and their state of health.
With your help, the CCFNM will raise $1 Million so that Erin’s Place will become a reality. Five hundred thousand dollars will provide housing for multiple families facing pediatric cancer crisis. It will include the Edwin and Novella Lineberry Room for visiting and various activities. And, $500,000 will create an endowment, which will ensure maintenance for Erin’s Place in perpetuity.
Through the generosity of friends we can provided a place where those who are facing childhood cancers can experience joy in the midst of their journey.
“We knew that Estrella would have wanted to be at home when she died, but we lived too far away. Her pain needed to be managed here (in Albuquerque). The CCFNM tried to find a place for us, and finally a relative offered his home. Sadly, she died before we could leave the hospital. When Erin’s Place becomes a reality, families will have a place to be together.” -Estrella’s Mom, Hope