Salida Elks Lodge No. 808 is collecting can tabs to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities in the name of Matthew Vigil, 15, of Salida.
Matthew found out in July that his non-Hodgkin’s primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma had returned. He had been in remission since December after being diagnosed in June 2018, according to a GoFundMe site set up by Matthew’s family.
Matthew just completed his first round of radiation treatments, his dad, Dave Vigil, said.
Before the cancer, Dave said Matthew used to be pretty energetic. Now Matthew’s pretty apprehensive about doing anything, but he still has a positive attitude.
They have a room at the Ronald McDonald House in Aurora, Dave said. Matthew’s mom, Tammy, is staying with him throughout the treatment, while Dave is commuting back and forth to the Denver area so he can work.
Matthew’s main doctors are at Children’s Hospital Colorado. His radiation oncology is at UCHealth.
His treatment will run through Sept. 10.
The Elks Lodge is collecting the tabs because they contain more aluminum than the rest of the can, Dave said, which makes them easier to collect.
They’ll donate the tabs to Ronald McDonald House, so the house, which does not charge for its services and runs on donations, can get money from turning in the tabs for recycling.
A lot of times families staying at Ronald McDonald House come from out of state, Dave said, and they’re in such a rush they forget things. The house supplies them with whatever they need, such as food and clothing.
“People will come here with nothing on short notice and have to stay for an extended period of time,” Dave said.
People interested in helping out can tell their friends to save their can tabs, Dave said, and take them to the Elks Lodge, 148 E. Second St.
They’ll take all the tabs to Ronald McDonald House once they have enough, Dave said.
For now, Dave said, they’re just taking it day by day, hoping Matthew takes his treatment OK and keeps his positive attitude.
Matthew’s GoFundMe page can be found at gofundme.com/matthew039s-cancer-fund.