Peninsula Host Annual “Walk for Life”

by Nina Li Host Annual “Walk for Life”
• Peninsula High students walk from campus to Highridge Park during annual Walk for Life event.

Peninsula High School’s annual Walk for Life took place on Feb. 22 with hundreds of Panthers walking to show support to City of Hope, Cancer Support Community and the millions of lives who have been affected by cancer.

The event began with a carnival, where all the school’s clubs sold different foods and objects to the students.
During the event, many students and teachers had their hair cut by professional hairdressers as a way to donate their hair to those who need it.
The Rose Ceremony followed the walk, at which students that participating in the walk went to the decorated field and listened to guest speakers.
The Rose Ceremony involved the Walk for Life Ambassadors who put a rose in a glass vase for each person who has died from cancer. The heartfelt ceremony was a time for students, teachers and administrators to come together in solidarity for those whose lives have been touched in one way or another by cancer.
A total of $42,000 was raised, with half of the money donated to the Cancer Support Community and the other half will be donated to City of Hope.
The organization of Walk for Life is a result of the hard work put in by committees from both Service Learning Leadership and the Associated Student Body as well as volunteer ambassadors.
Senior Lexi Harris has been a Walk for Life Ambassador since her sophomore year and is also a part of Service Learning Leadership. The members play a crucial role in making sure the event runs smoothly. They plan meetings, schedule dates, make posters and spearhead important decisions such as the T-shirt design and color.
Walk for Life Ambassadors raise money through friends, family and local businesses. They plan, the activities, set up the event and clean up after the event. Harris’s grandparents are currently battling cancer, so the event holds a special place in her heart.
“Walk for Life is incredibly meaningful to me because I know cancer affects almost everyone at some point in his or her life,” Harris said. “I volunteer extensively at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in the Oncology department and have done research in the Bone Marrow Transplant Department, so I have seen firsthand the bio, psycho, social elements of cancer that affect patients and their families,” she said.
“The money raised gives not only hope for a brighter future for these patients, but an increased quality of life and happiness to both the patients and families. Walk for Life is so impactful. The students at Peninsula really come together to make a difference.”
Senior Morgan Dickson is also an ambassador as well as a member of Service Learning Leadership. She says that this year, the event was different because there were a lot more people helping out with the event and greater support from many community members and ambassadors. One of the main events during Walk for Life is the throwing of the purple powder in the air.
“It is really inspiring to see all of the supporters in the stands throw the powder as a grand finale to presenting the checks to the organizations and acts as a fun send off into the walk to Highridge Park,” Dickson said.
Walk for Life is a day when everyone comes together and supports one another even if they do not know one another really well.
“Walk for Life is so amazing every year, but I feel like it just gets better and better,” Harris said. “My favorite part about Walk for Life is the sense of accomplishment. I get to work with my classmates on a project that makes a difference in the community and people who are affected by cancer.”
Junior Lauren Kim has been walking in Walk for Life since her freshman year and recounts the day.
“It was a gorgeous and sunshine filled day for this year’s walk, and I felt overwhelmed by the love and solidarity that the students showed,” Kim said. “Seeing everyone walk to Highridge made me reflect on all the patients that cannot walk right now, and cannot leave their hospital room. We were all walking for someone; I was walking for my aunt and grandpas. This event is one of my favorite events throughout the school year, and I hope others feel the same way.”  
Cancer affects lives in many different ways, whether it be actually battling it or helping a loved one battle through it. Walk for Life is impactful in many ways and its significance will never be lost.
“This Walk is and has been so significant in my life because I lost a grandpa due to cancer before I was born and my aunt, grandpa and numerous family friends have endured or are going through cancer,” Kim said.
“It breaks my heart to know and clearly envision what they are going through. Cancer does not only affect the patient, but their family, friends and loved ones. The club that I started focuses on raising awareness about childhood cancer, yet I believe that every single person on this planet needs to be aware of the pain and difficulties that patients go through. Cancer is brutal, but it can be overcome.”

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