YUMA, AZ - Many of you may have heard of the "Heart of Cisco."
Cisco is a young man who suffers from an enlarged heart and soon may be in need a transplant.
But like so many people across this country, he doesn't have health insurance and cannot afford to see a doctor to get life-saving treatment.
Francisco Aispuro, also known as Cisco, has suffered from heart problems since he was 13 years old. Right now, his only treatment is buying blood thinners in Mexico to keep his heart pumping.
"That's something I can die from any day," he said.
Cisco, as he is affectionately called by loved ones, looks healthy from the outside.
But on the inside, this 21-year-old suffers from a deadly heart disease.
"I don't understand how I have a chronic illness and I can't be covered," he said. While Cisco works full-time at a Yuma audio store, he makes too much money to qualify for AHCCCS, the Arizona Medicaid program that insures low income residents. But, he doesn't make enough money to be able to afford buying his own insurance. Each visit to a doctor costs him $3,000 out of pocket.
"Regularly I was supposed to see him every six months to a year. It depends on how he thought I was going. But just through the cuts I haven't been able to afford it to go up there," he said.
As a result, Cisco has not been able to see a doctor for three years. For him, that's three years too long, especially since heart disease runs in his family. His father died at the young age of 27.
"He died from the same problem I have, except his was the size of his whole chest and I really didn't understand why. I knew it was a heart problem. I knew it ran in the family but I never thought it was gonna happen to me."
Cisco says while he feels strong, he knows his heart could give out at any time.
"I would eventually need a transplant but I have no idea when. I can be two years from now my heart can expand or it can be 50 years from now"
So far, Cisco tells says with the help of his family, friends, and the community, he has been able to raise around $500 to pay for his doctor visit to get treated soon.
His family plans to celebrate his 22nd birthday by having a fundraiser in his honor.
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