She beat thyroid cancer in 2013, now Crystal Montoya is fighting another cancer and it could severely hinder what she loves to do.
Montoya has a soft but strong voice. She uses it to coach mini cheerleaders for the last thirteen years.
“She’s taught us like all of our spirits,” said one of her team members.
Montoya has coached her own daughters and hundreds of other little girls, teaching them to make their voices carry, so they can be heard over the loud roar of rambunctious fans.
“I’m really shy, but when she’s there she gives me confidence,” said Bella Montoya.
“We are more than best friends, we’re like sisters, twins almost,” said Christina Montoya.
However, Montoya’s voice is being threatened.
“The cancer is now in my lymphnodes,” said Montoya. “The cancer has entangled the nerves around my vocal chords.”
She’s scheduled to have surgery at UNM Hospital at the end of April, but after surgery, she will still need a treatment not offered here in New Mexico.
The ideal situation is getting it all done in Houston, but her health insurance doesn’t cover the necessary treatments.
So, her family is raising funds to get the medical help she needs.
Having already beat cancer once, she’s optimistic she’ll beat it again.
“I fought because I don’t want to leave my kids,” Montoya said. Including the ones that aren’t her own blood.
Her family has organized a dinner and dance benefit on May 19. Tickets for the benefit are $10 each. It will be hosted at the Barelas Community Center from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.