Not alone, we fight together


Celeste Lira

To support Relay for Life, and raise money for senior Mario Galvan, 12, Joey Romero, 12, Mario Andres Galvan, 11, Edwyn Arroyo, 12, Eddie Guerrero, 12, and Michael Rivas, 12, shave their heads in March. They also sold t-shirts to support Galvan’s older brother who was diagnosed with cancer late last year.

Sara Cabrera, Writer/ Copy Editor

With their motivation for finding a cure for cancer, students, faculty, and staff helped raise $23,562.81 for Relay For Life within two weeks, organized by physical education teacher, Marvin Manzanares. He is one of the many who have witnessed the damage and heartache this disease causes to families. At the March Madness assembly held on March 1 in the gymnasium, Manzanares introduced the event and shared how he believed that his father, who passed away from cancer, was God’s plan to put him where he is now—helping save the lives of others with this charity.


Mario Galvan, 12, a student who was diagnosed with Stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on December 26, also spoke at the assembly, which was the wake up call reminding students that anyone could be susceptible to this disease.


Teachers and students came up with a variety of ways to raise as much money as possible within the duration of those two weeks. From selling homework/bathroom passes and snacks, to promising a movie day or donut party, Darrelle Nikaj, Dashiell Verstagan, Reggie Jones, Eric Bradfield, and Bonnie Nishioka are just a few of the teachers who came up with these fundraising ideas.


“Ms. Nikaj is pretty known for her cake pops,” Anissa Gomez said. “I know a lot of people who aren’t even in her class and come to buy them because they hear from their friends.”


Math teacher, Bradfield was especially passionate about raising money for Relay For Life due to the fact his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. He went above and beyond by performing with his band DTC on Thursday, March 21, in the gymnasium during both lunches. By charging a dollar at the door, it amounted to over $500 by the end of B lunch.


Galvan’s younger brother, Mario Andres Galvan, 11, sold T-shirts for $12 each and beanies for $20 each with the phrase “Not alone, we fight together” printed on them with Galvan’s name on the bottom. As of now he has currently sold over 160 shirts and 30 beanies, together raising over $1,000.


Galvan, along with seniors Edwyn Arroyo, Michael Rivas, Joey Romero, Eddie Gurrerro, Gustavo Caro, and juniors Andre Alvarez and Eric Carillo, shaved their heads out of respect for Galvan, each wearing a beanie and shirt to promote around school.


“Edwyn and Mario brought the idea up to me on shaving our heads,” Romero said, “and I was the first one on board, and then more of our friends started doing it to show respect.”


Romero has been a close friend to Galvan and his family ever since they met in the first grade.


“I’m doing this to show him that he isn’t alone,” Romero said. “I was really hurt when I found out. We use to play soccer together when we were little and it made me think like, ‘Wow, this happened to my close, childhood friend.’”


Arroyo, who has been neighbors with Galvan since the second grade, shared how difficult it was for him to accept that this was reality. It was also devastating not being able to see Galvan the moment he found out because Arroyo was in Mexico at the time.


“This made me realize it could happen to anyone just like it happened to him,” Arroyo said, “and I didn’t believe it at first, but it was true, and then next thing I know he was already bald.”


Galvan also shared how extremely close he is with his older brother and found it mind-blowing that life can change drastically from one day to the next. He claims to be appreciative of his friends and many others who are supportive of him through this tough time.


“It was very easy to get support from our friends, “Galvan said. “We have all known each other forever and, if it was any of us, we would all do the same for each other, support each other 100 [percent] all the way to the end.”


This school has and will continue making a difference as staff and students come together to fight cancer and find a cure with many more fundraisers to come.