Monday, January 4, 2021, marked four years since 5-year-old Gianna Hurtado passed away. Gianna, the daughter of AZDPS Trooper Joe Hurtado and his wife Lizette, bravely fought DIPG - a form of pediatric brain cancer - for eight months. Since her passing, the Hurtado family has made every effort to honor her memory through Gianna's Force of Hope, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
In honor of what should have been Gianna’s 9th birthday, Gianna’s Force of Hope recently donated $9,999 to TGen, a nonprofit medical research institute in Phoenix. The donation will be used to fund brain tumor research.
In addition, every year the Hurtado family hosts a Christmas toy drive for children at Banner University Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson. This year, Gianna’s Force of Hope was able to deliver about 400 toys to the hospital for the holidays, and also provided special gift bags for five local children fighting cancer.
“Our toy drive allows us to share Gianna's story and bring us joy at a time of year that has proven to be very difficult for our family,” said Trooper Hurtado. “It also connects us to other families on similar cancer journeys.”
To learn more about Gianna’s Force of Hope, please visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GiannasForceofHope
(Photos courtesy of Gianna's Force of Hope & the Hurtado family)