Walk For Life in Temple City

Photo by Joe Torosian

Cancer survivors from left to right; Jolynn MacDonald, Cindy Vance, Janet Smith, & Kim Wunner.

by Joe Torosian

From July 26th 9: AM to July 27th 9: AM Temple City hosted its third annual “American Cancer Society Relay For Life” at Temple City High School. The event, created to fight cancer, raised $56,000 over the weekend, but that number is expected to rise.
“Each year our community comes together to help those facing cancer get well, to help those who have yet to be touched by cancer to stay well, to find cures for this dreadful disease and to fight back, so that our future generations never have to hear the words,  ‘you have cancer.’” Wrote Temple City Relay for Life Chair Kim Wunner, a cancer survivor, in the event’s program.
Among the dignitaries attending and sharing were Temple City Mayor Carl Blum and District 24 State Senator Ed Hernandez. Standing out in the morning session, however, was Tiffany Zhao, a recent graduate of TCHS and a 15 year survivor of retina blastoma cancer. Zhao, UC Berkley bound, shared her story of coming from China to the United States, losing her eye sight, and yet still achieving in life.
“I could have listened to her all day,” said one man in the crowd.
At the remembrance ceremony, which began at nine in the evening, cancer survivor Hannah Komai shared. On Sunday morning Michelle Ford, an eight year survivor of jugular paragangliomas cancer shared her story.
The Temple City High School football field was ringed with easy-ups and tents from Saturday till Sunday morning to help make things just a little easier for those walking under an intense sun.
In 2012 the Temple City chapter raised $21,000 and had 13 teams participate. This past weekend 30 teams took part in the relay that goes around the clock. With each team required to have at least one person on the track, many rested while others walked through the night.
The spirit behind the event is best summed up in the concluding lines of Misty Martinez’s poem “Standing Proud”:
‘This is a life I refuse to allow cancer to take
I’ll shout it from the skyline I’ll scream it really loud
I will not be defeated- I’ll remain standing proud!’

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