Every day many cancer patients need treatment, a kind word, or just someone to be there.
One four state woman gives that and more.
It's a personal mission for her based on her own loss.
Tonight in our freeman buddy check 16, KSN’S Tiffany Alaniz tells us more about this special woman.
"I’m here at the cancer institute because it's a calling for me."
Della Castillo puts everything into her job as Director of the Freeman Cancer Institute.
It comes from her heart and great loss.
"I lost my young daughter to cancer and she was only 25 years old"
Della's daughter Tonya Spencer died of kidney cancer.
She's taken her pain and loss and turned the energy into helping others.
"My daily goal is to see how I can help someone else whether it's just that shoulder, whether a word of comfort or just hello"
She says that goal is constantly on the minds of everyone at the cancer institute.
She knows firsthand what a cancer diagnosis can do to a family.
"Everything from that moment on changes in your life from the moment you have that diagnosis. Not only for that patient, for their family, for their friends, for everybody from that moment on everything changes"
Della says she tries to make those changes a little smoother.
"So the minute they walk in, they've got to feel that comfort that support we really care what goes on to that patient and that caregiver"
Sometimes it means her giving a hug or just listening her own loss made her more in tune to the needs of others.
"I feel I can identify with caregivers, with mothers, with parents".
Very few patients know the story of Della’s daughter Tonya, but her experience has enabled her to give advice to others.
"but be accepting to what the child or even if it's your parent needs at that moment"
Della Castillo is certainly a woman who honors her late daughter through her actions everyday.
Della says caretakers should remember to ask for help and support as well.
It can make a world of difference.