April Phillps, whose 21-year-old son Terry Richards is battling an aggressive form of cancer, said the safe was taken during a robbery of her house on Wildflower Drive between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Richards, a father of a 2-year-old boy, is on disability after undergoing surgery earlier this year and currently six rounds of high-dose inpatient chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation.
The 100-pound safe contained cash and an 80-pound jug of coins collected for Richards from fundraisers and community members.
“His rent is due on the third, and now he faces being evicted if we cannot, once again, raise the funds,” Phillips said in an e-mail. “He has always been a very independent person, and with having to deal with this diagnosis, we have been working real hard for him to keep the ability to be independent.”
Phillips said she planned to use the money to prepay six months of his rent, some of his utilities and get him a Safeway gift card for groceries and gas. Richards must travel to the University of California's San Francisco Medical Center for treatment.
Prior to being diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a rare and highly aggressive soft-tissue cancer, Richards studied electrical engineering at Los Medanos College. He hoped to finish his degree at University of Pacific.
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