14-Year-Old Endures Cancer Treatment Alone Because Mom Is Not Allowed to Cross U.S. Border

After months of efforts from advocacy groups, Ixcell Perez will finally be reunited with her mom Dalia

Ixcell Sandoval Perez, 14, is undergoing cancer in the US by herself because her mom isn't allowed to cross the border.
Photo: Solidarity Now

A 14-year-old cancer patient is going through treatment alone because her mother has not been allowed to cross the border into the United States. But thanks to advocacy groups, the pair may be reunited soon.

Over the summer, Ixcell Perez and her mother Dalia Perez traveled on a bus for four days to the border crossing at Tijuana, Mexico, so Ixcell could undergo treatment in the U.S. after her leukemia relapsed, Good Morning America reported. Ixcell, who was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, was ultimately allowed to enter, but Dalia was denied, according to Solidarity Now, an immigration rights advocacy group.

“This is about my mother. I want her to come here to take care of me. Because I need her,” Ixcell said through tears in a video published by Solidarity Now. “It’s not easy to be here without her. It’s not easy to have her so far away. I had not prepared myself to be without her.”

In a recent update, Solidarity Now indicated that Dalia has been allowed to enter the country.

“Dalia was stranded on the border and separated from Ixcell for four long months,” the update reads. “Broad coverage in both US and international media — and YOUR emails — helped get her across the border. She will be reunited with Ixcell soon.”

Ixcell and her mother moved back to Mexico in 2010 when Dalia’s visa expired, according to KABC. Cole Miller, founding director of Solidarity Now, told GMA that Ixcell was diagnosed with leukemia last year and underwent treatment in Tapachula, Chiapas, where the family lives.

In the video, Dalia says Ixcell’s situation was dire: “The doctor told me I should hurry or there would be no tomorrow.”

Migrants try to cross border with US, Tijuana, Mexico - 25 Nov 2018
Migrants in Tijuana, Mexico. David Guzmán/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Solidarity Now did not immediately respond to a request for comment from PEOPLE.

After entering the U.S., Ixcell began treatment at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, according to GMA. Solidarity Now is working with local legal aid groups, immigration advocacy groups, and even local churches to support Ixcell and get Dalia to her daughter’s side.

“The mother can’t sleep at night,” Miller said of Dalia, who he described as “extremely emotional.” “She’s very grateful people are making an effort to assist her but she’s distraught because she knows that Ixcell needs her.”

Migrants Caravan, Tijuana, Mexico - 29 Apr 2018
Hans-Maximo Musielik/AP/REX/Shutterstock

The news comes amid the Trump Administration‘s plan to detain migrant families together indefinitely, which was proposed in place of an agreement that would limit the number of days authorities could hold children, according to CNN.

With that, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and more than a dozen other state attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the administration to challenge the new rule.

“This new Trump rule callously puts at risk the safety and well-being of children. It undermines a decades-old agreement reached in court by the federal government to prevent the unlawful detention of immigrant children,” Becerra said in the statement. “No child deserves to be left in conditions inappropriate and harmful for their age. We’re taking the Trump Administration to court to protect children from the irreparable harm caused by unlawful and unnecessary detention. With our partners across the country, we will fight for the most vulnerable among us.”

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