Jaime Escalante of "Stand and Deliver" Fame Fighting Cancer

AP Photo

Legendary mathematics teacher, Jaime Escalante—immortalized by Edward James Olmos in the moving film Stand and Deliver—has been diagnosed with cancer and his family is struggling to keep up with the payments necessary to continue his treatments.

Olmos posted the news about Escalante's battle with the disease on his website, in an effort to encourage those who have found inspiration in Escalante's story or been helped by the teacher to donate to the cause. "The treatment he needs has depleted all the funds his family can raise," Olmos wrote on his website. The family "did not want to ask for help, but we took it upon ourselves to get the word out to all the country and around the world, to make his final days as comfortable as possible—and maybe even give him a chance to beat the cancer that has afflicted him."

Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia to parents who were also teachers. He moved to East Los Angeles in the 1960s and landed a position as a math teacher at Garfield High School. After successfully inspiring generations of youth to follow their dreams and study hard, Escalante returned to Bolivia in 1999, telling the Los Angeles Times "I wanted to do something for my country, like I did something in East L.A. for the barrio."

To make a donation to help Jaime Escalante visit www.edwardjamesolmos.com and click on the picture of Olmos and Escalante that reads "An Appeal to the Friends of Jaime Escalante."

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Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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