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Rocío and Jorge with baby Jorge and Rocío's daughter Leyre. SUR
Parents of Costa del Sol baby who died after being diagnosed with cancer to hold charity gala to raise funds for research
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Parents of Costa del Sol baby who died after being diagnosed with cancer to hold charity gala to raise funds for research

Family members, with the help of different groups in Nerja, are organising a charity dance and music gala to remember little Jorge and raise funds for the CRIS Contra el Cáncer (against cancer) Foundation

Eugenio Cabezas

Nerja

Tuesday, 30 January 2024, 18:56

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Rocío Martín's voice trembles every time she mentions the name of her little boy, Jorge, who died on 19 March 2022 in the Hospital Materno Infantil in Malaga city as a result of an aggressive childhood cancer. Doctors had diagnosed the cancer in Jorge's head just a month earlier, when he was not yet eleven months old. Little Jorge Gómez was born on 27 February 2021 during the pandemic and was Rocío's first child together with her partner Jorge Gómez.

Rocío, 37, who is from Alhaurín de la Torre and Jorge, 43, from Nerja met about seven years ago. Jorge had been married before and had no children, and Rocío has a 14-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. The couple, who now live in Nerja, had decided that they wanted to have a baby together.

When he was born, Jorge was healthy and everything was totally normal. He weighed 3.55 kilos and measured 56 centimetres. Everything was going well until early February 2022 when Rocío Martín began to notice that her son was eating less and less and vomiting what little he did eat.

The couple took Jorge to their paediatrician in Nerja who referred them to the Axarquía hospital in Torre del Mar, where medics did a CAT scan on the baby, "and there was a four-centimetre hole in the cerebellum", Jorge explains, adding,“The doctors told us from the beginning that it was a very aggressive cancer, but you are filled with strength and hope that you were going to get through it". However, despite their “little warrior’s” early determination to fight, in the end Jorge lost his battle against the malignant tumour, classified as an ATR (Atypical Rabdoid Teratoid) .

Another baby on the way

"He had an operation at the beginning of February and then contracted meningitis. They put him on antibiotics and he was recovering and was going to start proton therapy, but it couldn't be, the damned cancer took him away", his mother says in tears.

Two years after the tragedy, Rocío is now almost eight months pregnant and she is due to give birth to her third child, Ares, named after the god of war, a name chosen by her daughter Leyre, on 1 April.

But before Rocío gives birth, the family, with the help of different groups in Nerja, are organising a charity dance and music gala on 17 February to remember little Jorge and to raise funds for the CRIS Contra el Cáncer (against cancer) Foundation. The foundation is based in Madrid and has been supporting research into all types of cancer, especially rare types, since 2010.

A poster made by the family to advertise the charity event on 17 February.
A poster made by the family to advertise the charity event on 17 February. SUR

"The three of us continue to attend therapy with psychologists, but we have enough strength to remember Jorge and to do our bit to try to ensure that never again will a family have to go through what we are going through," says Rocío, who admits that "little by little you get used to the idea that this is a lottery, and that it has happened to you". She adds, "We underwent genetic tests at the maternity hospital and they ruled out any hereditary factors.”

The event on Saturday 17 February will take place at the Centro Cultural Villa de Nerja. There will be two sessions, one at 5pm and the other at 6.30pm and it will include a presentation about the work of CRIS, a performance by the Nerja-based Sara Jorge Dreams Dancers modern dance academy. Actor and children's entertainer Rocío Delgado will be hosting the gala.

A video will be shown with images of Jorge's short but intense life, and a manifesto will be read about the need to promote research against childhood cancer. The event will end with a minute's silence and a round of applause in memory of Jorge and all the children who suffer and have suffered from this disease. Admission to the event is ten euros, which will go entirely to CRIS.

Anyone interested can also make donations either via the family, organisers of the gala through their Instagram @pollueloguerrero or the Cris Contra el Cáncer Foundation. Rocío and Jorge have already raised around 4,000 euros from the sale of bracelets, key rings and necklaces that are given as gifts at events such as weddings, christenings and communions. Last year, as part of their grief therapy, the couple walked the Camino de Santiago, which they describe as "a very enriching experience" and recommend to everyone.

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