BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — It’s that time of year again for one of Bakersfield's popular fundraising campaigns, Relay for Life.
On Wednesday, Relay for Life teams were seen at the Kern County fairgrounds picking out their camping spots and setting up for this weekend's activities.
23ABC Lezla Gooden, spoke with Patsy Romero who is volunteer for Relay for Life. Romero shared exactly why she has dedicated her life to fighting cancer.
“Once you go you will keep going back because you will see the power and the energy,” said Romero.
Romero is a cancer survivor and has been volunteering for Relay for Life for the past 27 years.
She says she continues to advocate for funding and research because of the progress made.
“It’s making a difference and you can see it," Romero explained. "The death rate has been reduced by 27 percent and that is happening because of research."
Romero will be missing this year's event because she will be heading to Washington D.C. on behalf of the American Cancer Society and Cancer Action Network to advocate and ask congress for more funding.
Her family will be attending along the thousands expected to come out this weekend. Romero says her family will honor her, as two of her family members who died as children.
“We keep doing it because we keep getting cancer patients and we keep doing it because we want to find a cure and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we want to keep it nice and bright,” said Sylvia Cariker, media chair for Relay for Life.
Cariker, says most people know someone who has been affected by cancer and that’s why the community keeps coming out and donating.
“Donating can be as simple as coming to relay Friday night between 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. or coming on Saturday,” said Cariker. “Or [just come] as a visitor, admission is free, parking is free and purchase an illumnaria to honor a cancer survivor or remember a patient who lost their battle.”
Cariker says their goal is to at least raise one more dollar than last year, where they raised close to $600,000.
“We raise our money via yard sales, cookies, car washes so we are used to a dollar at a time, it doesn’t bother us,” added Cariker.
Also, new to this year's event is a car show.
Everyone is welcome to sign up for teams throughout the weekend. For more information on how to participate follow this link.