Kings County rallies behind beloved baker battling cancer

Hanford Mayor Francisco Ramirez says Abel Guzman didn't just sell bread, he was a role model and a friend.
KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- After decades of serving his community, a South Valley man is seeking care after being diagnosed with cancer.

For the last 35 years, 65-year-old Abel Guzman would drive from Dinuba to Reedley and Hanford to make an honest living selling Mexican treats.

"He was the type of person to get up at 7 am and load up the van full of bread and work all day... He sold pan dulces - everything from conchitas to bolillos," says his son Abel Guzman Jr.

But that all changed in October.

Guzman had an ear infection.

Doctors later connected that infection to something unexpected - he was diagnosed with liver cancer.

"It hurt my mother, my father, it hurt all of us," says Guzman Jr.

His family and the Kings County community he served for decades remain in shock, but now they are rallying together.

Hanford Mayor Francisco Ramirez says he remembers the impact Guzman had on him and his family growing up.

He says he didn't just sell bread, he is a role model and a friend.

"I remember one day he came by in his old van, I was looking at the bread and he says, 'Hey, you need or want bread?' and I said 'Yes, but we have no money'. He gave me a big bag of bread and said, 'Whenever you can, just pay me.' And that was his thing," says Ramirez.

Guzman Jr. says his father is his hero.

And says his work, passion, and dedication never went unnoticed by his family or the community.

"To see the impact my father has done, it's a big thing to see it and to see the community that he served for many years coming together."

As a self-employed Latino, Guzman doesn't have insurance. It's one of the many struggles small business owners experience constantly.

Moving forward, the business will be on pause while efforts to find Guzman the right care continue.

If you want to help cover his medical costs, click here.

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