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Eighth annual run/walk festival aids local cancer patients

For most young adults, turning 16 is a very important milestone. Schoolwork, stress, body image and getting your driver's license are common sources of worry for young adults. For 16-year-old Samantha Parrilla who attends Cesar Chavez High School in Delano add "mediastinal b-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma" to her and her mom's list of worries. It's difficult to pronounce until you are diagnosed with this type of cancer.

Diagnosed at 15 years of age, the cost of cancer care, transportation to and from treatment and the effects of cancer care weigh heavy on family, friends and absolutely unfairly to Samantha.

Steve Flores is a board member of the Kern County Cancer Foundation. Email him at