ETX community cooks for a cause - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

ETX community cooks for a cause


An East Texas community is cooking for a cause. 

"My sister-in-law (Ross Sajo) she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago and the cancer is terminal. She has three kids; the eldest is ten-years-old and he has down syndrome," said Monina Mercado.

"She's always in constant pain and she wanted to stay awake for the kids, but she has to take that medicine; the pain medicines because she can't bear the pain anymore," Mercado explained. 

Ross Sajo's husband Jojo, has worked to provide for their family, but has recently suffered three brain aneurysms. 

As Ross undergoes chemo-therapy, Jojo is receiving costly embolization and radiation. 

"She told me, 'Monina, just make sure the kids will be taken care of,'" Mercado said. 

Mercado did not waste any time coming up with a plan to raise money for her family and for pancreatic cancer research.

She gathered family and friends in the Filipino community to help make and sell lumpia, a traditional Filipino dish.

Together the Filipino community makes pork, vegetable and been lumpias. They are selling them for $10 a dozen. 

The owner of the Potpourri House, Les Ellsworth, opened his kitchen to the cause.

"I know in the last two nights we've probably made over 6,000 egg rolls here. Even my chef has been so impressed. He said that is a community you don't see very often," Ellsworth said.

"I'm so overwhelmed, I mean, I don't know how to say thank you to them. It's like I owe them my life for doing this," Mercado said. 

But for family and friends, it is a small sacrifice to help save a life.

If you would like to purchase lumpias, e-mail

The group has also set up a fund at Southside Bank. The fund at the bank is under Ross Sajo's name. 

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