Our Violinist, Diego Mondragon, Needs Help

Dear Facebook Family,
I’ve decided to go public with my recent health concerns for several reasons. First, let me tell you what’s going on with me. Approximately two years ago, I noticed a small pea-sized growth next to my left nipple. I ignored it as most males often do and didn’t pay much attention to it until about a month ago, I noticed that the growth had grown significantly, and I began to experience pressure and some occasional sharp pains. 

When I returned to my home in Puerto Vallarta, I decided to get it checked out. An initial ultrasound indicated a large growth of almost 3cm and compromised lymph glands. A biopsy was next, and cancer was detected. The oncologist told me that I had stage II cancer and explained that I would need surgery and chemotherapy.

I was shocked and dismayed by this news and felt numb and in disbelief. The oncologist shared that before going any further, three additional tests were required to determine if the cancer had spread to other organs.

So here is the good news. 

The tests indicated the cancer had not spread! I met with an oncology surgeon yesterday, and I determined that the course of treatment would be surgery first (mastectomy and removal of any compromised lymph glands), followed by chemotherapy.

On Tuesday, I will be seeing another oncology surgeon to get a second opinion. Meanwhile, I need to get some additional tests and see an internist to determine my viability for surgery.

At this point, I was relieved that the cancer hadn’t spread and relieved of not having to tell my family and friends of my demise. At this point, I now had enough information and felt it was finally the time where I could let my son, daughter, and close family members know of my serious health condition.

I felt very sad telling my children I had cancer because their mother passed away from breast cancer at the young age of 37. I know this affected them very much, because I struggled very much being a single father. 

Despite my struggles, I did the best I could and I’m proud to say that I have two awesome children, Omar Mondragon and Citlali Mondragon, who I love dearly. I also felt very sad telling my two sisters of my situation because both of our parents and younger brother died of cancer as well.

Now back to why I decided to go public. First, I want to create awareness of Male Breast Cancer, which is not well known. About one in 833 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s typical that men usually don’t mention this mainly due to embarrassment about having a “woman’s disease.”

Secondly, although I have a small group of friends I hang out with, I also have a large group of loyal friends and followers on social media due to my music, which I love and appreciate all of you greatly. 

I’m trying to stay strong, positive and continue to live with passion despite this horrible condition I find myself in. At the same time I feel that the more support I get, the stronger I will be during these unexpected and difficult times.

Thirdly, I’m in quite a predicament because I have no health insurance. My plan was to pay out of pocket in Mexico for any medical expenses before reaching age 65 and then rely on Medicare for any serious medical issues. 

Because I’m not there yet and don’t have the available funds to pay for my surgery and further treatments, friends and family highly recommended I start a GoFundMe to help with my medical expenses.

Thank you for reading this post, thank you for your understanding, and thank you in advance for any support you are able to share with me from the bottom of my heart.
Your friend always,

Diego de Jesus Mondragón

If you would rather not use GoFundMe, you can use ZELLE using my phone number (951-970-8576) or VENMO @Diego-MondragonLavallade



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