UCLA alumni collect teddy bears for cancer patients

DOWNEY - The UCLA Alumni Los Angeles Southeast Network held a teddy bear drive at Stay Gallery in Downey last Thursday, Dec. 12, with more than 200 new plush toys collected for children battling cancer.

Newly elected Mayor Fernando Vasquez welcomed the attendees and led them in UCLA's famous cheer, the "8 Clap." He then commended Ms. Alexandra Muñoz, who is herself a cancer survivor, for her courage and resolve during her battle with cancer.

"Alexandra is a reminder of how important it is for us to address important issues like cancer," Vasquez said. "Alexandra is also a hero and deserves to be commended for her work and resilience."

Muñoz began the teddy bear drive three years ago to "remind cancer patients of all the people who loved them."

"It's like giving a hug to someone all the time," said Muñoz, who is currently a student at UCLA.

Miguel Duarte, vice president of the UCLA Alumni Los Angeles Southeast Network, explained the importance of awareness.

"Cancer knows no bounds," he said. "Unfortunately, it is a horrible disease that can literally affect anyone with no regard to race, gender, or age. This is why it's important to grow awareness."

Muñoz delivered the teddy bears to kids at UCLA Hospital and Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

********** Published: Dec. 19, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 36

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