BCHS students make an impact by raising cancer awareness

by Jessica Stump, Class of 2019
The BCHS Stand Up to Cancer club is participating in the 2019 Student of the Year Campaign, a leadership development and philanthropy program developed by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The BCHS Eagle Up to Cancer project team is competing against other local high schools, but with a united purpose – to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. 
The theme of this year’s campaign is “Beating Cancer is in Our Blood.” Evelyn Verdejo was selected as Girl of the Year, and she is the face of the campaign. 
Verdejo, age 4, was diagnosed with Leukemia in September 2016. After chemotherapy, she is now out of treatment due to the many advancements and care plans available to those who have Leukemia. 
“We put our hands in God’s hands so He can lead us the right way,” said Evelyn’s mother Katelyn Verdejo.
The announcement of Evelyn’s remission was an answer to prayer and the little girl will be able to attend school next fall. 
Evelyn Verdejo, along with her mother, visited the BCHS campus for a couple of days to have fun and play with members from the project team from the BCHS Stand Up to Cancer club. She likes to paint and play with Barbie's, so she took a peek inside the BCHS Fine Arts Center, as well as played on the sand volleyball courts and more. While the visit gave Verdejo a glimpse of life as a high schooler, it also gave the BCHS students a very personal connection to the cause they are working to impact.
“This experience has opened my eyes to all the good the Lord can do through a little girl like Evelyn,” said sophomore Emma Wilson, co-leader of the Eagle Up to Cancer project team along with fellow sophomore Lauren Buetow.       
When Wilson and other club members interacted with Verdejo at BCHS, they fell in love with her joyful spirit and her energetic personality. 
“We want to show her how much she is loved and we want to transfer the Lord’s love to her,” Wilson said.
The fundraising leg of the competition ends on Feb. 22 with a large dinner at which live auctions and silent auctions are held by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Many advancements and cancer treatments have been developed because of the monetary support raised from this competition, and because of the generosity of donors and the determination or researchers, little girls like Verdejo get the opportunity to grow up and become whatever they want to be; in Evelyn’s case – a doctor.

Learn more about the BCHS Eagle Up to Cancer project at https://events.lls.org/cca/bakersfieldsoy19/euptocance?fbclid=IwAR1WLUlwjudfYJgSqK3tzwiQzuc9P5RGRboqdapL7QytnEFHt1dKiqjaPag or follow on Instagram @bchsstanduptocancer.

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