Community Reaches Out To Teen Battling Cancer

The Temple City community came out on Wednesday evening in support of Michelle Ford, a Temple City resident battling a very rare form of cancer. Ford, 18, recently graduated from Temple City High School in June. She has been undergoing several surgeries to combat the cancer.

Although Ford has medical insurance, the cost of surgery causes a financial burden for the Ford family. A local nonprofit organization, CHOICESS, decided to sponsor a benefit concert for Michelle Ford on September 12, 2007. Proceeds of the concert will be donated to the Michelle Ford Fund at the Citizens Business Bank, 101 West Huntington Drive, Arcadia, CA 91007.

At the Temple City Park on Wednesday night, a crowd arrived to listen to The Grove Session, a band playing Jazz, the Blues, Rock, Funk, Soul, and Hi-Hop in honor of Ford. As jazzy rock fusion flooded the atmosphere, members of Kiwanis, Starbucks, WEB, even the Miss Temple City court, flocked from person to person with goods ranging from baked treats and raffle tickets.

“As diverse or separated as we may be, we will still help and support one another,” said Mayor Judy Wong on the citizens attending the Michelle Ford Benefit Concert. Diagnosed with a rare cancer last year, Michelle Ford has gone through various operations, costing her family thousands.

And surely, from hugs to teary wishes, from donated dollars and popcorn being served by Councilmember Wilson, everyone there lent a helping hand.

As Temple City resident Leo Giammalva, whose son is a personal friend of Ford, stated, “It’s great that our community bonds while helping others, especially when someone else is in great need.” For Leo, the bonding helped the community and Ford on an emotional and financial level.

However, for others, the event was a lot more spiritual. “Sometimes people forget about you,” said Robin Giammalva, “But events like these help you to remember everyone still cares. It reminds you to keep on fighting.” While the event may have proposed a different set of values for all, all agreed that this was a magnificent way to help out Ford.

Michelle, keep on fighting.


This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on October 3, 2007.


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