BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — In the spring of 2021, Andrea Hill got the diagnosis no one wants to hear.
“I got double pneumonia. I went septic, found out I had leukemia, started chemo, all within five days," said Andrea.
She was in a coma for three weeks.
“They didn’t know if I was going to come out of the coma or if I would be okay when I came out," she said.
But in January of this year, Andrea finished chemo and is now cancer-free.
She said her family couldn’t have gotten through it without support from the community and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, or L.L.S.
That’s why she’s now dedicated to raising funds for cancer patients and research.
“People helped me in so many ways I can’t even tell you, so I knew laying in the hospital that I had to give back when I got back to the other side," said Andrea.
She’s even turning her Light The Night team, Red’s Warriors, into a nonprofit.
“If you had said to me, 'You’re going to start a nonprofit in 2022,' I [would’ve] said, 'Yeah, you’re crazy. I don’t have time for that,'" she said. "The universe showed me I have time, and I have time to give back."
Andrea is hosting a Brews For A Cure fundraiser at Dionysus Brewery on Saturday.
To date, she has raised $35,000 but her goal is $50,000.
Brewery owner Kyle Pittser said he’s more than happy to help.
“I’ve been affected by cancer in my family and [the] fight was pretty brutal, so when she contacted us about doing an event here, I was down to do it and willing to do anything we can to help her," said Kyle.
Tickets are $25 dollars with proceeds going to L.L.S.
There will be music, food trucks, raffles and a special drink.
“We made a beer called Red Warrior’s Blonde Ale and proceeds of those sales will be going to Red’s Warriors," said Kyle.
This January marks one year of remission for Andrea.
She said despite her battles with the disease, she’s grateful for the ways it strengthened her family’s relationships, introduced her to lifelong friends and got her more involved with the community than ever before.
“It made me stop and smell the roses, I guess, you know, and see silver linings. I don’t let small things bother me quite as much as I used to, so yeah, no, it did. It changed me for the better," said Andrea.
The Brews For A Cure event is Saturday, November 5, from 12-9 p.m. at Dionysus Brewery (6201 Schirra Ct STE 13, Bakersfield, CA 93313).