For nearly 24 hours, hundreds came together at the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village for the 5th annual Campout Against Cancer this weekend, raising money for local cancer patients and survivors.
The event started Friday and continued overnight all through Saturday.
A special ceremony was held Saturday to honor survivors.
“They are very special, our survivors, that’s why we do this,” Gallion said.
Last July, Jamie Barta was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. At just 33-years-old, she underwent a double mastoidectomy and chemo.
“I have two small kids. I have a boyfriend that I have been in a relationship for almost two years and I was like, oh no, what’s going to happen?” Barta said. “My kids need a mom. I found somebody that’s amazing that I love. I was scared to death.”
That’s where the Kern County Cancer Fund comes in.
“Just the word cancer is horrifying and scary and then when you have financial choices, you have to either make your car payment or your house payment, or get the medication that you need to be healthy,” said CASA co-chair Sheryl Gallion. “That’s a tough decision so we want them to focus on healing and getting healthy and not have to worry about their fees.”
This year the fundraiser raised a record $405,000.
Events like this remind Barta of all who back her.
“There’s time that you just feel like you’re all alone and then you come out here and there’s so many people,” she said. “It’s just awesome to have that, to know that you’re not alone.”
Organizers say they are still hoping to reach their goal of $500,000 in May.
You can donate to the fund on their website.