New Mexico students statewide are competing to help patients battling cancer, but the mission hits close to home for the Lopez family in Los Lunas.
“Cancer is a scary word, I honestly thought I was going to lose my son,” said Arline Lopez.
Arline remembers the moment her son Octavio Lopez was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“He had a seizure…and they found out he had a brain tumor,” said Arline.
Octavio had just turned 3 at the time. Today, he doesn’t remember what those days were like, but he knows they must have been difficult for his mom.
“She was the one there with me at all my doctor’s appointments,” said Octavio Lopez, a cancer survivor.
Arline says it was impossible to feel anything but fear.
“I was never going to see him graduate, I was never going to see him get married, and it was very scary,” said Arline.
Octavio and his little sister Elida, are one of several New Mexico teams raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I’m helping people out that have gone through what I’ve gone through,” said Octavio.
The siblings were nominated for the Students of the Year Program by one of their former teachers at Valencia High School.
“This is the first time New Mexico has done this,” said Elida Lopez, Octavio’s sister.
Their mom says the two of them have always been inseparable, and now the dynamic duo is hoping to raise at least $15,000 so other cancer victims can beat the disease just like Octavio.
The team that raises the most money will get a $2,500 scholarship.
Click here to view Octavio Lopez’ fundraising page.
Click here to visit Elida Lopez’ fundraising page.