8-year-old Valley Center boy dies after long battle with cancer

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Elliott Ortega Elliott Ortega
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

An 8-year-old Valley Center boy has died less that a week after his family held a garage sale to help pay for the boy's cancer treatments.

A post on the Facebook page Elliotts updates says that Elliott Ortega died at 8:37 p.m. Thursday. 

"Elliott fought for his life like a champ over the last 7 years. Battling 3 different types of cancer, liver transplant and 2 bone marrow transplants," the post says.

Elliott and his family  used garage sales over the past six years to pay for his cancer treatments after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2013. He was first diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a transplant. After his transplant, the cancer came back but in the form of Leukemia. He has fought the disease on and off since he was 2 years old. The doctors said there was nothing left they can do for him. 

A GoFundMe for the family has raised just over $8,600. 

Valley Center Schools said parents may wish to talk to their children about Elliott's death because it affects each person in different ways. 


Previous story from Friday, April 12:

A local boy and his family held a garage sale Friday in Valley Center to help pay for cancer treatments.

Elliott Ortega and his family have used garage sales over the past six years to pay for his cancer treatments after he was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2013. He was first diagnosed with liver cancer and underwent a transplant. After his transplant, the cancer came back but in the form of Leukemia. Since then he has fought the disease on and off since he was 2 years old. Now, at age 8, the doctors have said there is nothing left they can do for him.

"I lose my buddy, you know what I mean, I lose my buddy," said Ray Ortega, Elliott's father. It's tough, it's something that I'll, you know, live with the rest of my life."

Ortega said although it is tough, the family is trying to stay positive about the situation. He said they have a dog, some chickens and Elliott's friends and family coming to see him have helped with that.

Over the years they have done the garage sales, Ortega said they have raised about $30,000.

"It's very heartwarming for the fact that people open up their hearts, their wallets, and, I mean really their doors," Ortega said. "Because when I had a bunch of family come in, people said the same thing, if they need beds to stay in tell them to just come over."

The proceeds from the garage sales are still going to treatments like medication for Elliott according to Ortega, but they are no longer doing chemo therapy.

"You put so much poison in a persons body, it's got to stop," Ortega said.

Everything they sell was donated by businesses and individuals in the community. The community has come out in droves according to Ortega, and one resident that came by the garage sale had some encouraging words for Elliott and his family.

"Enjoy life," said Audra Birzer. "I'm glad that you're out and about and you're doing things that you want to do and you're not stuck in a hospital and you're living whatever little life you have left to its fullest. So, I hope his family enjoys their precious time with him, and I encourage everybody to come out and support him."

Anybody that wants to go to the garage sale can go to 110 W. Main St. in Valley Center for the last day of the sale tomorrow.