Children with cancer get a Christmas surprise this holiday

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A Christmas celebration for children and families who need a little extra holiday cheer this season.

Kids diagnosed with cancer were able to get gifts and meet Santa himself.

It was called the Pediatric Christmas Drive-Thru. It was an event where kids who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families got Christmas presents for the holiday.

The event was hosted by the Kern County Cancer Foundation and was sponsored by Kern Family Healthcare. Kids and their families got presents and $100 gift cards for necessities like food and clothing.

“Having a child diagnosed with cancer. Having to make multiple trips to the children’s hospitals for treatment has been rough for them amongst everything else that’s been going on in the world,” Michelle Avila the executive director for Kern County Cancer Foundation said. “So we wanted to bring back the Christmas celebration for them to let them know the community is behind them and they aren’t alone in this.”

Vanessa Juarez is a mother in of these families. Her daughter Jazzlinn was diagnosed with cancer when she nine-months-old.

“She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at nine months old,” Juarez a mother of five said. “She did chemotherapy, had her surgery, removed her tumor and now she is cancer free as of right now.”

Juarez says the constant help they received from Kern County Cancer Foundation is what helped them make it to their appointments for Jazzlinn.

“Personally it means that they care,” Juarez said. “It means that they care about the kids and the community.”

20 families were given presents for this event and some of the families said they would never have been able to get their kids gift if it wasn’t for this event.

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