Family separated by mother's cancer looking for fundraising help

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Marisela Carmona with her daughter Yaired and son Ariel.

Over the last year and a half, 18-year-old Ariel Carmona, a full-time college student, has been learning to support his 13-year-old sister and terminally ill mother.

Over the last six years their mother has battled cancer which now has spread to her lymph nodes, brain and organs. She's says even though she shouldn't be alive today, she continues to fight to spend one more day with her children.

"I'm worried about my kids," Marisela Carmona said. "I'm about to die. I don't want to leave them."

Now too weak to work, the family has been evicted from their home - split apart, each living with a different relative or friend.

Family responsibilities and heartache weighed heavily on Ariel when in a chance encounter, LAPD officer Ken Lew spotted the young man, crying in his car.

Lew is trying to get the word out that this family desperately needs help in order to be together again in their mother's final days.

Lew founded a nonprofit organization called Badge of Heart that looks to help needy families. The organization says it has helped more than 900 families since 2015.

He set up a GoFundMe account under the Carmona family's name and at the moment all each of them want is more time together as a family.

The GoFundMe effort is hoping to raise at least $25,000 to help the children out with schooling and living expenses, and with care for their mother.
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