An Edinburg first grader is taking it upon himself to raise money for a local teacher in her time of need.

Trent Silva, 7, is asking the community to help him raise 2,000 pounds of aluminum cans to aid Edinburg educator and coach Dolores “Dee Dee” Treviño in her fight against breast cancer. Silva, a student at Idea Quest Academy and College Preparatory school in Edinburg will be organizing “Cans 4 Cancer” throughout the year.

“I’m trying to help raise 2,000 pounds of cans so I can help her pay for it (treatment),” Silva said. “If you want to help, I am holding an aluminum can drive, so that means crushed cans or soup cans, any kind.”

Silva said he first appealed to relatives and neighbors for donations by walking their dogs on behalf of Treviño, who is his godmother. Then a recent lesson at school, learning about the various functions of the human body prompted him to act . Silva said he took it upon himself, without telling his teachers or parents, to begin a makeshift media campaign for “Cans 4 Cancer”.

Aside from doling out handwritten business cards to teachers and students, Silva himself began contacting various media outlets on his own. The Edinburg Review received a call from him last week. He also created flyers and posters urging the school to come out in support of Treviño, who has a rare form of breast cancer.

Trevino has Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a rare and often terminal subtype that can only be treated with chemotherapy.

A triple negative breast cancer diagnosis means that the disease does not respond to receptor targeted treatments.

Since August, Treviño recently said she is feeling better following a four month respite from chemotherapy, which lasted through fall. Treviño’s latest round of chemotherapy began again in December when doctors at M.D. Anderson in Houston, upon discovering that the cancer had spread to her liver had decided to put her on a new clinical research study to find the highest dose of a new drug called BSI-201. The drug, along with another called irinotecan is given to patients with advanced cancers.

Treviño now makes twice weekly trips to Houston for treatment, with one week breaks in between. The cost of travel, hotel stay, and meals adds up tremendously, according to Treviño.

Silva said he will look to sell the cans at 55 cents a pound, which could potentially raise $1,100 for Treviño.

“I learned how body systems work together to make you healthy, but cancer makes you unhealthy and treatment is very expensive,” Silva said. “She’s my godmother, and I don’t want her to die.”

Anyone looking to donate their used cans may do so at 2818 N. Edison Street in Edinburg or at Quest Academy in front of room 109. The community can also call 566-5697, Silva said.