Tracy Talks: Tracy takes care of family with special needs child
by Anne Marie Fuller
Aug 08, 2013 | 5437 views | 3 3 comments | 191 191 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Every once in a while, I come across a story that grabs at my heart and won’t let go.

Isaako and Susan Tanupo moved to Tracy in July 2008 with their young special needs daughter. In November 2008, Isaako took ill and has since been diagnosed with a rare cancer, Valley fever and is currently battling for his life in an isolation room at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

In addition, Susan is in a wheelchair with heart complications and the family is losing their home in the next two weeks.

When I first talked with Susan about her situation, she had little hope. She asked me if people still cared and if a community still reaches out to help one of their own. I told her yes, people still care and people still try to help. I am hoping that I am right.

“I have never felt so alone in my life,” Susan Tanupo said. “We are a desperate family right now. We’ve exhausted every avenue and there doesn’t seem to be any help for us. My husband’s prognosis is bleak and only 30 percent of his heart is working at this point. Both the cancer and Valley fever have taken its toll.”

Susan has had to supplement medical costs from her personal pocket and has no local family to help. She has also had an uphill battle trying to keep the family together as they will be left homeless in two weeks.

“Through all of this my husband keeps telling me that he loves me too much to leave me and has been fighting the whole way,” Susan Tanupo said. “He is in the hospital fighting for his life against a very aggressive and rare cancer. It’s called LYG cancer, for short.”

The Tanupo family is crying out for help in finding a place to live locally, that has a garage or storage for medical equipment. They are scampering for a home in between medical appointments and the start of a new school year. The family also needs helps with meals and school supplies for their special needs teenage daughter.

As Tracy Talks about this family and their plight, several community members have taken a step to help provide school supplies and new clothes for the local teen. Thank you Boys and Girls Club of Tracy, Carrie Burnell, Steve Abercrombie, Kim Edwards, Mike Robinson, Kelli Globe, Renna Troche and Elissagaray Ranch Neighborhood Watch Group. Thank you for proving me right that people still care and people still try to help.

If you are able to help this family, please contact Susan Tanupo at 207-9805. The family’s most urgent need is a home and help with meals.

• Anne Marie Fuller is a Tracy arts commissioner and the television host of “Helpful Hints with Anne Marie” on Channel 26 at 7 p.m. Fridays. Contact her at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 10, 2013
Thank you so much Tracy for the support. Isaako is still in hospital and scheduled for surgery once he is in a stable condition. Keep us in your prayers and god bless all your generosity and loving hearts. Thank you!
August 12, 2013
What an wonderful article and Thanks to all the local community members to help individuals in great need. This situation is critical, people

are blessed when they lend a helping hand.

Concerned community individual.
August 15, 2013
Hi Susan,

Bye any chance, are you and your husband from San Jose? I ask because my family was good friends with isaako only can't remember his last name. My brothers are Gene and Marcus and my cousin is named victor. Do those names ring a bell?

We encourage readers to share online comments in this forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a space for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Comments that stray from the topic of the story or are found to contain abusive language are subject to removal at the Press’ discretion, and the writer responsible will be subject to being blocked from making further comments and have their past comments deleted. Readers may report inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at