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Retired Las Vegas police officer's son fights rare cancer

Posted at 11:39 PM, Jun 05, 2017

Just weeks after graduating from college with honors, the son of a retired valley police officer was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Now his family needs your help getting him the treatment he needs. 

The cancer is so rare that few doctors specialize in it. So Mason Saldana's family had to go to California where he will soon undergo treatment at UCLA Medical Center for the next six months.

25-year-old Mason can be seen in his Facebook profile video shaking his magnificent mane of curly dark hair. It's the hair that led to comparisons between him and a character in Disney's Moana. But now the former Green Valley High School wrestler sports a nearly shaved head as he prepares to battle Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor (DSRCT).

His father, Jerry Saldana, spoke with 13 Action News over the phone. Saldana is a retired Las Vegas police officer.

"Supposedly there are only 200 cases in the U.S. recorded,' Saldana said. "And that's not very many for them to have expertise in."

Mason just earned a master's degree from prestigious Embry Riddell Aeronautic University in May.  Right now he can't work and with his next birthday he will likely be bumped from his parent's insurance. 

He will have to undergo multiple treatments costing thousands of dollars each time in addition to housing and transportation costs. A GoFundMe page has already raised more than $20,000, but it's a fraction of the total costs. 

The family is grateful for such an outpouring of support.
 
" It makes us feel wonderful as a family. And strong," said Saldana. "You have to be strong. And you will have times where you want to break down, but you can't do that. Not until it's over."
 
If you would like to contribute, here's a link to the gofundme page.