SOUTH-WEST OF MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A young girl traveled from Cuba to South Florida hoping to get life-saving treatment, where a lawmaker stepped in to lend a hand.
Six-year-old Vanessa Alfonso lupianez is fighting a big battle after being diagnosed with cancer in 2021. She was inside a hospital in her home country Cuba, where her mother told 7News that she would not have survived any longer.
“She needs medicine to survive, but they don’t have any and they won’t let you bring any. It’s hard because you say, ‘I’m going to lose my daughter,’ Lupianez’s mother, Jennifer, said.
Her parents say doctors in Cuba were simply not equipped to care for their daughter. Lupiánez and her mother Jennifer were also told they had to be isolated for more than 70 days, even from their own family.
“I couldn’t see my son or my husband, and she couldn’t see her brother or her father,” Jennifer said.
As her daughter apparently got worse, doctors removed one of her kidneys, but the cancer had spread. It was tough, her mother said, and that’s when Vanessa’s grandfather, who lives in South Florida, decided to step in.
He contacted Congresswoman Maria Elvira Salazar in hopes of bringing his granddaughter to South Florida for the treatment she desperately needed.
“That’s why I’m a congressman,” Salazar said.
Representative Salazar said that after months of work, she was able to help secure the humanitarian parole of Lupiánez and his entire family.
“We fought and we fought and we fought, and I want to be incredibly grateful to the officials at the State Department and Homeland Security. Everyone I personally called, begging them to give this child another chance,” Salazar said.
All four arrived in Miami last week. Lupiánez will be treated at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
She has just undergone various examinations there, as they struggle to determine the best way forward. For now, Jennifer said she was grateful to the congresswoman and grateful that her daughter now had a fighting chance.
“This is an opportunity for our daughter’s life,” Jennifer said.
Lupiánez is expected to begin treatment at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital very soon.
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