A sophomore at Enochs High School and a resident of Riverbank, young Daniela Lopez gathered her family for a fight this weekend. A fight against cancer.
She and several family members and friends took part in the annual Relay For Life, staged at Oakdale High School on May 5 and 6. This year, it was a combined Oakdale Escalon Riverbank Waterford Relay For Life and Lopez said it wasn’t her first time dong this event.
“I did it two years ago,” she said.
The team made the move this year to the Oakdale location.
“I relay because my grandma died five years ago from pancreatic cancer,” Lopez explained. “I don’t want other people to suffer like I saw my grandma suffer.”
The 24-hour team event is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and money goes to research, advocacy, education and patient services.
Teams from all the communities set up shop for the 24-hour period and there were special activities and events for cancer survivors and caregivers, as well as a variety of food items, raffle drawings, entertainment, a luminaria ceremony and theme laps. Providing the background music throughout much of the event – many of the songs played by request – was Jungle Jim. Participants could also compete in such contests as the ‘bra bling’ and Road to Recovery volunteer driver Jose Rocha was on hand to explain a little bit about that ACS program and how he enjoys helping cancer patients by providing them with rides to their treatment. Receiving the Patient Courage Award this year was Stanislaus Consolidated Battalion Chief Kevin Wise, a two-time cancer survivor.
To date, this year’s Relay For Life has raised about $74,000.