Tamale business fills hungry bellies, helps woman win her battle against leukemia

Local News

Tamales are a popular Mexican food item in the winter, especially during the holidays.

For one East Moline woman, making and selling tamales helped pay for her medical bills.

Tamales for Hope is what Maria Del Carmen named her business after winning her battle against leukemia.

She was first diagnosed in 2012, and then again in 2018.

Selling tamales paid for her chemotherapy.

“I started selling tamales in the street to friends. I did that for about six months,” said Del Carmen. “Due to leukemia, I couldn’t work and go to chemotherapy, so I had to find a way to make money to take care of myself and my daughter.”

This year, she made over 1,500 tamales — a lot more than previous years.

“First day, I made 140 dozen,” said Del Carmen. “No, I didn’t think I would have that many orders. I didn’t even imagine it. The popular ones are pork. They’re the red one … they’re these.”

Del Carmen has big plans for the future and hopes to one day have her own store.

“I would love to have a store somewhere to sell them, with God’s help,” said Del Carmen. “I would like that.”

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