Local business owner faces life threatening health struggles; needs community help
Aug 30, 2023, 10:10 PM
SALT LAKE CITY — The community in Salt Lake and West Jordan is rallying around a local business owner, Cecilia (CC) Armenta, after overcoming both uterine and breast cancer just to be faced with a fight against fibromyalgia. With the challenges she faces, more community support is needed.
Armenta is the owner of “Yumz” which started about two and half years ago as a vegan bakery. Since her health struggles began, it has since become a full restaurant with two locations.
“I was going through my second round of cancer. Single mom, couldn’t work, and so out of desperation I just started making vegan plant-based items from things from my home just to try to sell them and see if anybody would want some just so I could earn some income,” Armenta said.
“Food is just a beautiful thing,” said Armenta. “You know it just makes you feel good knowing that you’re spreading your love through the community, through food. It’s kind of our culture.”
Armenta has worked with her mother, Leonor Fuentes to transform some of her family’s Latin recipes into vegan recipes, in part to share some of the changes in diet she took on while fighting off cancer.
Her disease affects the nervous system, and Armenta says between the brain and the heart being impacted, she could only have five to ten years left.
“It’s affected me to the point where I can’t be in the kitchen anymore cooking like I used to do and love to do because the heat also is another trigger for having seizures or blacking out,” Armenta said.
Armenta had one of those seizures on Monday, forcing her to close down her West Jordan shop for about an hour until her mother could take over.
As if the health challenge isn’t enough for Armenta, her medical insurance company recently dropped her specialist, putting her now on a waiting list. Moving insurance companies is unlikely to work because Armenta needs it for her daughter, who has autism.
“I don’t like asking for help, so for me, it’s kind of hard for me to put myself out there,” Armenta said. “I want to be around for my daughter and I want to be healthy so what do I gotta do? And that’s where I went on [this] journey.”
A customer of Armenta’s reached out to KSL because of their love of her food and wanted to help.
“If I’m not able to raise the funds, I’m going to have to close the doors permanently because I just can’t do it anymore,” Armenta said. “I’m going to have to take what funds I have from here to be able to pay for [treatment] out of pocket because I can’t wait.”
Armenta says a donation or a visit to one of her shops to get some food is all appreciated. She has a GoFundMe where patrons and supporters can donate to help Armenta pay for her treatments.
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