David Ovalle is preparing for the holiday season, and a very special concert that he hopes will help his entire family during a time of dire economic need.
We first met David daughter, Naomi, 11 years ago when the family asked us to help get the word out (video below) about a non-cancerous growth on her arm which might threaten her life.
Naomi’s mother told us NBC4’s report helped them get funds to pay for what insurance would not cover and to find a doctor willing to do the more complex surgery to remove the growth while saving Naomi’s arm.
Naomi’s surgery went well. But doctors told the family the fact that she had that particular tumor meant she would be at high risk for melanoma, deadly skin cancer, for the rest of her life.
A few years later, the family learned the reason for what they called Naomi’s “mildly eccentric” behavior: she had a mild form of Autism.
As treatment dug deep into the Ovalle’s resources, they finally received some good news: Julie was pregnant with their second child.
Halfway into her pregnancy, the news turned tragic. Doctors discovered the unborn baby had a rare genetic disorder that kills most fetuses before delivery.
But again, the Ovalle’s defied the odds. Julie delivered Nikki.
"To me she was perfect, an angel, but I knew I could never bring her home," Julie said.
The genetic problem would destroy little Nikki’s organs; family and friends had to say hello and goodbye at the same time. Nikki died three days after she was born.
Turning to each other and their faith once again, the Ovalle’s began to heal. Then, earlier this year, David saw his doctor for a tiny lump in his neck.
"When they told me it was cancer I was floored, shocked," he said.
Two surgeries and radiation helped David go into remission. However, when David tried to return to work to pay for the mounting medical bills, he was in for more bad news.
"My job was no longer there," David said.
So neighbors and friends rallied together. A special concert Friday night at the Montebello High School Auditorium, dubbed "Jazz for Dave," will raise funds to pay the Ovalle’s past bills and sustain them until David finds a new job.