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Hats for Hope donates $15K to cancer patients

Naja Hill

SHELL BEACH, Calif. - Hats for Hope donated $15,000 to cancer patients who have experienced financial hardships due to their disease.

At just 31 years old, Ailyn Martinez was stunned when she got a breast cancer diagnosis. The journey has been difficult.

“It was really aggressive, my tumor was growing really fast, so I had to start chemotherapy,” said Hats for Hope recipient Ailyn Tatiana Martinez.

She, along with several others diagnosed with cancer, received $2,500 from the nonprofit Hats for Hope.

“We serve people from Santa Ynez to Paso Robles that are currently going through treatment,” said the President of Hats for Hope Diane Martino.

Eve Larson received her diagnosis when she had no health insurance, putting her and her family in a financial crisis.

“We are just unbelievably grateful because it is a way for us to recover from a really hard time. Especially having two small boys in our lives,” said Hats for Hope recipient Eve Larson.

The money can be used for whatever needs the survivors have.

“When cancer treatment takes them away from the ability to earn an income they are really struck hard by the financial burden of cancer,” said French Hospital registered nurse Gloria Caine.

Hats for Hope also provides wigs to those suffering severe hair loss as a result of chemotherapy treatments.

“The feeling that the community is helping me with this is amazing,” said Martinez.

To date, the organization has given away over $140,000 to Central Coast residents struggling financially due to their diagnosis.

“All of our funding comes from the generosity of our community and we are honored to be able to pass on that generosity to the people that need it most,” said Martino.

To donate you can go to

California / Santa Maria - North County

Naja Hill

Naja Hill is a reporter at KCOY|KEYT|KKFX.