"Without her, I wouldn't be able to survive," says 13-year-old Anela Enanoria.
The teenager is afraid of losing her beloved mother, Rokhsan, who is battling cancer.
"There are still so many things that she still needs to teach me, and I want to keep learning from her," says Anela.
Rokhsan Enanoria is a 51-year-old single mom from Los Angeles' Burbank neighborhood with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Unfortunately, her health insurance, Anthem Blue Cross, is denying the life-saving surgery Rokhsan needs.
"The Friday before the surgery, I got the denial letter and call from my doctor that the insurance company had rejected the liver surgery," Rokhsan said.
The surgery is needed to remove tumors from Rokhsan's liver and colon. Twenty rounds of chemotherapy were needed to prepare for the surgery.
"I got the strongest chemo, and I surpassed all expectations hoping that there was light at the end of the tunnel for me; surgery was the goal," Rokhsan said.
Rokhsan's oncologist, Dr. Yuman Fong of City of Hope, wrote a letter to Anthem Blue Cross stating that the surgery Rokhsan needs has proven successful for three decades.
But the PPO stuck to its decision: Not medically necessary.
When asked about Anthem Blue Cross's decision, Rokhsan expressed her frustration and disappointment. She labeled their actions "pathetic" and said they have no right to determine the fate of patients like her.
Isabel Guillen, a cancer survivor and passionate advocate from Chavelita's Pinkhood Cancer Foundation, echoes the shared outrage. She questions how insurance companies can get away with denying life-prolonging treatments to numerous patients.
Isabel emphasizes the need for self-advocacy, encouraging individuals to share their stories to platforms like Instagram, speak out, gather support from doctors, and reach out to influential figures in Washington.
Giving up is not an option – the fight must continue.
Rokhsan is doing just that, fighting for her life. She continues to explain to Anthem Blue Cross the surgery they are denying has proven to add years to a patient's life.
"Another five years could mean I get to see my child as an adult by then. In another ten years, I could see her graduate from college. These are not little numbers for anybody like me. I'm a single mom, and my daughter has only me," Rokhsan said.
FOX 11 contacted Anthem Blue Cross for comment, but no one has gotten back to us. This case, however, does have a happy ending.
Take a look at the statement from City of Hope:
"As we believe this surgery is the best treatment option for Roxy, City of Hope will pay for the recommended treatments and health care services that her insurance company is denying as part of the City of Hope Financial Assistance program. Roxy is being scheduled for surgery as soon as possible."