LITCHFIELD PARK, AZ (CBS 5) - Nicole Sagasta, 21, should be out with friends, at work or having fun with her family.

Instead, she's stuck in the hospital getting chemotherapy and stem cell treatments, after being diagnosed with leukemia.

[WATCH: 2 Dillon's KC BBQ co-workers Pay It Forward to woman fighting cancer]

"There's (sic) days where I know I can get through this, but there are days where I feel like just giving up," said Sagasta.

Sagasta had gone to the emergency room Aug. 26 with severe stomach pain, fatigue and bad migraines.

Sagasta never imagined she had cancer.

"The first thing I saw was my mom. She started crying," said Sagasta. "I was like, I was in shock. I didn't know what it was."

Sagasta's world had already been shattered a month earlier when her father died in a tragic accident.

But the young woman is determined to fight through the pain and beat back this deadly disease.

Diana Fichtner works with Sagasta at Dillon's BBQ in the Wildlife World Zoo in Litchfield Park.

She has seen how strong her young co-worker is, so she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to Sagasta.

"It's just tragic for anybody, whether you're 21 or 61," said Fichtner. "She doesn't have insurance, and they needed the help, so I figured this would help Pay It Forward towards medical bills."

A CBS 5 news crew followed Fichtner and another co-worker when they stopped by the Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert to visit Sagasta and give her $500.

Medical suits and masks were needed to prevent contamination.

"We reached out to Channel 5, and we have a surprise for you," said Fichtner. "You've just been through so much the past couple months, between cancer and your father, and you've just been one strong individual. We give you so much credit for this," said Fichtner.

"You're just a wonderful person, and we want to present you from Channel 5 and Dillon's at the zoo $500 to put towards whatever you need," said Fichtner.

"I have the best support," said Sagasta. "I think that means a lot. It really does. I know I can get through this. I know I can. I'm a fighter."

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Sagasta with her medical bills.

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 


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