Desirae (Desi) Ava Grace Cechin is one of the most powerful young ladies to live here in our Coachella Valley, yet Desi is only five years old. In April of 2014, Desi’s parents, Laura and Terry, brought her to the ER for what they thought could be problems with her appendix. After a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan, Desi was found to have an 11 by 10 centimeter tumor wrapped around her aorta. On April 21, 2014, Desi was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. This news came on her father’s birthday. Desi was four when diagnosed. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Neuroblastoma is a cancer that develops from immature nerve cells found in several areas of the body… Neuroblastoma most commonly affects children age five or younger, though it may rarely occur in older children.” When a cancer is declared to be stage four, the cancer is known to have spread. Desi has already undergone numerous tests, blood draws, transfusions, bone scrapings, and much more.

One can only imagine the terror that can be going through the minds of Terry and Laura, but they have their shining light. With everything she has been through, all the tests, the long stays at the hospital, somehow, Desi is smiling. Laura has created a Facebook page called Believing For Desi. On this page, pictures of Desi are posted; pictures of Desi smiling, enjoying friends visiting, and spending time with her mother and father.

Looking beyond the pictures are posts from Laura. Her posts are positive and tell Desi’s story from the beginning of this unfortunate journey. I read through the site starting from the beginning. Many of the posts were hard to read as Laura wrote the truth of her feelings. The journey to Desi’s recovery is moving forward with promise and hope, but Laura also wrote her own experiences. Many posts were long and heart wrenching. Detailed accounts of her breaking down, screaming, asking “why my daughter,” and her ability to pull herself together and face her daughter everyday through this “nightmare” as Laura calls it. Desi is strong and a shining light of hope that we can all learn from, but Desi received her strength from somewhere. I have no doubt that Desi received her strength from her mother Laura. I am a father of four children. Three of my children are girls and one of the three is the same age as Desi. I tearfully read through Laura’s written accounts. The emotional rollercoaster Laura writes about is something a mother and father should never have to experience.

Desi has a ways to go before this battle is won. Laura and Terry want to take Desi to the best doctors who specialize in her specific condition. Unfortunately, medical bills are piling up and much is not covered through insurance. This family is part of our community and needs our help. Desi has an online fundraiser where you can donate for Desi is found on The full URL is I also ask that you like her Facebook page Believing For Desi. Here you can find other fundraising events and ways to help Desi out, such as the need to donate blood. Desi can accept O-positive and O-negative type blood. According to her Facebook pager, “You would have to donate at the nearest blood bank to Loma Linda, which is Life Stream located at 384 W Orange Show Rd. San Bernardino 92408. 909-885-6503. Let them know what type of donation your giving, provide her name (Desirae Cechin) and the name of the hospital (Loma Linda – Unit 4800).”

I have also heard that Desi’s parents are trying to get on the Ellen show. Let’s help Desi get national attention. We should do our best to help this little girl out. Any donation will help. Any gesture you can give will only add to the hope this family needs the help them through these hard times. Desi’s goal is $300,000. I am confident that we can put our money toward such a worthy cause. Let us come together as a community and help out a fellow member.