Antioch food truck owners stop working to care for toddler with leukemia

The parents of a two-year-old son battling leukemia are unable to work. The Antioch couple are food truck operators concerned about exposure to the virus. The community is rallying to help them.

The owners of Tacuache’s food truck estimate they'll be out of work for at least six months. They aren’t taking any chances as their son undergoes intensive chemotherapy.

Adrian Rodriguez is described as energetic and fun who loves his toys and one-year-old sister. He also loves to eat snow. He and his family were on a trip to Lake Tahoe last month when his mother Markelle noticed something wasn’t right.

"When he came up to me to just talk to me," said Markelle Rodriguez. "I noticed when he was breathing, he had this lump on his neck that was moving up and down as he breathed."

On top of that, his breathing was heavy and that’s what worried a doctor. Adrian was rushed to the ER where x-rays revealed a huge mass over his chest, going to his neck.

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He was transferred to Kaiser’s Pediatrics Department in Oakland. On Feb. 9, doctors diagnosed him with stage four leukemia.

"I described it to my mom like an out-of-body experience," said Rodriguez. "You are listening to them talk and tell you what needs to happen. You just want them to start fixing things."

Adrian is on steroid medication. His long locks cut. As he undergoes chemotherapy, his parents, who own Tacuache’s food truck, have stopped working as to not to jeopardize Adrian’s health and treatments.

"It’s the worry of Covid and getting it but as medication continues his immune system is lowered," said Markelle Rodriguez.

"I’m going to do whatever it takes for you not to worry about having to go to work," said Adrian’s Grandmother Lisa Kerr.

Kerr was at an outdoor event at Balestrieri family farm on Sunday raising Leukemia awareness and funds to help with Adrian’s care.

As the family fights one of their toughest battles, they’re not fighting alone but with a village supporting them.

"We feel like he’s a strong kid and we are going to fight it," said Markelle Rodriguez.

Markelle Rodriguez said Adrian will undergo chemotherapy treatments for the next two years in hopes to beat cancer.

A Go Fund Me has been set up for anyone who would like to help. 

Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Azenith at and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or