The word “HOPE” shines through the night at a Relay for Life fundraiser, a drive-though Luminaria ceremony. Photo courtesy Melanie Gallegos-Campos

The American Cancer Society Club at College of the Canyons is a club created to spread awareness in the community about cancer and to uplift the lives of those who have been affected by lending a helping hand.

In 2017, the club was created to spread awareness about cancer; the primary purpose is to celebrate the lives of those in dark places. The only way to do this is to try and make a difference by going far and beyond.

“This club inspires me because it helps people in need, and when we donate, we can help cure a person or give them away to get closer to recovering,” said Alissa Torres, Secretary and event coordinator in The American Cancer Society Club.

This club is part of the fight against cancer. Leaders and members have to find passion in their hearts to raise awareness.

“I joined ACS Club because I have had family members and friends who battled cancer, and I wanted to honor them and make a difference in the lives of others who have suffered from cancer,” said Jesus Bastian, Vice President of The American Cancer Society Club.

Melanie Gallegos-Campos, president of The American Cancer Society Club and Jesus Bastian, vice president of The American Cancer Society Club take a photo together at a club event. Photo courtesy Melanie Gallegos-Campos

These leaders have the strength and willpower to run the club at school while having many other courses throughout the day and week. But they do it anyway, not because they have to, but because they want to.

“I am inspired by the students I have met and their willingness to connect and make a difference despite the stay-at-home orders. I appreciate every member in our club and everyone who has reached out wanting to help and participate,” said Melanie Gallegos-Campos, President of The American Cancer Society Club.

Another purpose of the club is to educate people who may not know much about cancer. February is the National Cancer Prevention Month and Gallbladder/Bile Duct Cancer Awareness Month. And to spread awareness, The American Cancer Society will be making informational posts every week on social media and sharing spreading facts about the importance of cancer prevention and Gallbladder/Bile Duct Cancer.

The club also spreads information and awareness by having guest speakers.

“In the fall, we also hosted a guest speaker event where a cancer survivor joined us to share her story and answer questions from members,” Gallegos-Campos said. 

They also believe that it’s essential for the club to grow and reach more people and educate them about the deadly disease.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate, and anyone can be affected by it. Many times people don’t realize the significance until a loved one experiences it,” said Bastian.

The club leaders believe that raising money for cancer patients is vital. They do this by having fundraisers and holding events. These are among the many ways to bring people together, too. Even though it’s challenging right now because of the pandemic, it is still possible.

“Our club participated in the SCV fundraising event Relay for Life and raised $594 to support The American Cancer Society Club and the services they provide to cancer patients,” Gallegos-Campos said.

A drive-through Luminaria ceremony, a Relay of Life fundraiser, displays the word “HOPE.” Photo courtesy Melanie Gallegos-Campos

“I know a lot of people who join the club because they’re affected, but a way to help them is that we learn to stick together,” said Torres.

Wanting to bring more cancer awareness to the community and at the same time help those who have lost their loved ones, The American Cancer Society is for people who want to make a change for good and for the future.

People interested in joining can email the club leaders at  to stay updated and be notified about future meetings and events.

1 comment
  1. Amazing work Melanie and team. Thank you for continuing to shine a light on this important topic for our community. ~ Dr Cude

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