By Alondra Urizar
La Habra Journal
In an effort to help fight cancer, celebrate survivors and offer support, 19 volunteers and 26 teams from La Habra hosted the 24-hour long Relay for Life at La Habra High School.
The event, which lasted from June 24 to 25, helped raise money and awareness. Together, the community of La Habra raised $20,675.79 donated to the American Cancer Society.
Members of La Habra and surrounding cities came out to participate and show support under the theme “Blast Cancer Out Of This World!”
Sponsors and volunteers joined in to help support and set up the event, which moved from Imperial Middle School to La Habra High School this year.
The different teams were placed on the inside of the track field at La Habra High School with tents set up to escape the summer heat.
Each team offered different ways for attendees to show their support by buying food, drink, raffle tickets and items promoting increased cancer awareness.
According to a study done by the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2016 alone. According to the study, some of the most common cases i
n 2016 were breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer and prostate cancer with the number expected to reach almost 19 million by 2024.
The relay gave many the opportunity to remember the loved ones they lost in the battle against cancer.
Lisa Quintero captain of Team JoeAnn and Luminaria co-lead has attended the Relay for Life for the past six years to support her best friend who lost her daughter, JoeAnn. It was in memory of her that they created Team JoeAnn.
“Until you really see it, you don’t understand what [cancer] really is. So, after seeing [JoeAnn] go through all of that, that made us want to get more involved and help and give back,” Quintero said.
La Habra’s Andrea Trujillo, captain of Andrea’s Angels, as well as the event co-lead, is a survivor.
Trujillo survived not one but five different cancers. For three years, she was diagnosed with some type of cancer. Breast cancer in 1998, a brain tumor in 1999 and breast cancer again in 2000. She was diagnosed with a rare form of uterine cancer in 2007 and even most recently, skin cancer.
She has battled them all and has survived.
Because of this, she believes she has guardians watching over her.
“I know I have angels with me all the time because of stuff I’ve been through – they’re there for me,” Trujillo said. “That’s why Andrea’s Angels is the name of my booth.”
Planning for next year’s event is already under way.