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Legendary Teacher Jaime Escalante Battling Cancer; Actor Who Portrayed Him Hopes to Raise Money to Help

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Escalante (left) with Mayor Villaraigosa and actor Jimmy Smits at an event last September (Photo by current events via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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The inspiring story of math teacher Jaime Escalante and students whose lives he touched at East L.A.'s Garfield High was immortalized in the film 1987 Stand and Deliver. Now the actor who played Escalante is hoping his celebrity will help inspire others to contribute funds to aid Escalante in his fight against cancer, according to KTLA. Edward James Olmos said on his website:

Now, [Escalante] needs our help. He is seriously ill, and the treatment he needs has depleted all the funds his family can raise. They 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.

Of the inspiring teacher, Olmos remarks:

The love and dedication he gave to his inner city students, and his unfailing conviction that every one of them was "gifted," brought out talent that had been untapped – and unseen - by other teachers.
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To contribute to the fund, you can send donations to:
"Friends of Jaime"
236 West Mountain Street
Suite 105
Pasadena, CA 91103