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October 14, 2004
Andrew Edwards Brian Rechsteiner won a battle against cancer, and his victory set him free to run for a fourth term on the Huntington Beach City School District's board. "I said [cancer is] not going to change my life," he said. "I'll get it, we'll defeat it and we'll go on." Rechsteiner, 59, was told to expect a full recovery from when he was first diagnosed with throat cancer. He recently underwent surgery to have the cancer removed and is now officially cancer free.
By Candice Baker | April 16, 2009
Baseball hats. A zebra fedora. A Cat in the Hat top hat. A rainbow beanie. A silver sequined Santa hat. Whatever the chapeau being thrown in the air, the sentiment was the same: pride. Carden Academy of Huntington Beach students raised more than $3,000 for Hats On Day to benefit children with cancer. Founded in 1995 by a sixth-grade class in St. Louis, Hats On Day came about after their classmate Kevin Beffa was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin?s lymphoma. The boy lost his hair from chemotherapy treatments and needed a bone marrow transplant, so his classmates planned to wear hats in solidarity with Kevin while raising money for his surgery, organizers said.
April 22, 2010
A Fountain Valley doctor faces possibly decades behind bars for allegedly defrauding medical insurance companies and Medicare up to $1 million through false billing. Glen R. Justice, 65, who lives in Corona del Mar, indicated in a plea agreement April 14 that he is ready to plead guilty to five counts of health-care fraud related to his cancer-treatment practice, authorities said. Federal prosecutors said that Justice charged companies up to $1 million for injectable cancer medications that he never administered.
April 12, 2001
Young Chang Glenn Quinliven has too many thoughts racing through his head. His hand can only write them down so fast. He's frustrated. He wants to say that he's grateful and overwhelmed because his friends are trying to save his life. Tears drop from the 55-year-old's eyes, and he doesn't bother to wipe them. His friend and caretaker, Junko Suzumura, blots them with a tissue. She apologizes for him -- for Quinliven having to spit out mucus every so often, for having to write out answers because throat and tongue cancers have destroyed his ability to talk.
June 13, 2002
o7 The Huntington Beach Independent went to Golden View Elementary to ask fifth-graders, 'What is your hope for the future?' f7 "I want the wars in Afghanistan and Israel to end. I hope everybody will be happy and that police stations won't need to be used all the time because there are so many good people." Alysa Breen, 10 "I want there to be peace and for everybody to be happy and no crime." Derek Campfield, 11 "I hope in the future everyone will not get sick but also that hospitals can take better care of people with cancer.
April 27, 2000
Angelique Flores Zachary Hughes tackled the waves as a surfer. He faced many opponents playing roller hockey. These days, the 14-year-old boy is battling bone cancer. The Huntington Beach youngster's former school and church have been rallying to raise thousands of dollars to support him and his family. "I don't even want to think about where I'd be without them," said Annie Hughes, Zachary's mom. "They're a godsend." Zachary was attending Talbert Middle School as an eighth-grader when he was diagnosed with cancer in January 1999.
October 31, 2002
NATURAL PERSPECTIVES On Nov. 1, the South Coast Air Quality Management District will consider a ban on a widely used dry cleaning fluid called Perc. If the ban passes, our area will be the first in the nation to prohibit use of this toxic chemical for dry cleaning. Perc is the cute, harmless-sounding nickname for perchloroethylene, a highly volatile organic solvent. How could the nasty old air quality district want to ban such a cute-sounding chemical?
By Chris Epting | April 1, 2010
?I feel like I have a neon sign over my head that?s constantly blinking, ?Do something about Ewing?s sarcoma.?? Sarie Morrell Sanchez is recounting the harrowing experiences surrounding the disease that robbed this world not just of her brother, Matt, but her daughter, Natalie, as well. Last July, I wrote about Natalie Sanchez in this column: ?On the Quiksilver website recently, there was a moving entry. It read, in part: ?Recently all of us at Quiksilver and Roxy had a very inspirational guest come and visit us: Natalie Sanchez!
September 2, 2004
Dave Brooks Over the yelps of her barking dogs and the constant bustle of visitors, Sandy Howard needs just one second for herself -- a moment where she can simply feel. Howard is about to lose her only son, Steve Dunbar, 33, to brain cancer. Her home has become a revolving door for Dunbar's endless stream of tattooed friends and well-wishers who are planning a benefit concert for him. Although he still enjoys his metal music and the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dunbar is a now a mere shell of his former adventurous self, confined to a bed and rendered nearly unconscious by Morphine With all the hustle around the tragedy in her home, Howard said she hasn't really had many moments to take everything in. Instead she struggles to keep her composure and follow her son's last requests: no looking sad, no feeling sorry for anybody and no crying.
By: Elia Powers | August 6, 2005
Nearly four years after his daughter's death, Todd Olympius keeps Brianna close to his heart by planning an event that's easy on the eyes. The second Rev-N-Rock for CHOC classic car show takes place at Huntington Beach's Central Park today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with proceeds going to Children's Hospital of Orange County's Neuroscience Institute. Brianna spent her final days at the hospital, battling a cancerous tumor in her brain stem. She lived nine months longer than expected, and Olympius said he credits the hospital for infusing life into Brianna's final weeks.
By Anthony Clark Carpio | February 18, 2014
They had no training in how to survive in the wilderness - they had never even gone camping - but that didn't stop Michael Ross, George Crawford and Drew Babcock from walking across the United States. Ross and Crawford started the journey in April near Danbury, Conn. After nearly 300 days of toughing out the elements, the two - as well as Babock, who joined the trek in Chicago - marked the end of their journey Feb. 10 in Huntington Beach. With their camping packs on their backs, Ross and Babcock, both, 19, dipped their feet in the cold Pacific Ocean to commemorate their accomplishment.
By Anthony Clark Carpio | February 3, 2014
Flynn Donoho has braved a plethora of difficult weather and road conditions during his three-year journey cycling across the United States. He's ridden through snow and hail, pedaled up mountain passes, dodged hurricanes and even stopped to watch a tornado form as he made his way to all 48 continental states to raise money for the American Cancer Society. "In Marlow, Okla., I took pictures with my phone of an EF-4 tornado and a funnel cloud right above me," he said. "Everybody thought I was crazy and told me I should be under cover, and I go, 'Why, man?
By Michael Miller | January 15, 2014
It was a jarring note to begin a year of celebrating surfing - an image of a shark with its mouth wide open, looking set to devour a board like the one it was painted on. But if it garnered attention for a cause, mission accomplished. Tuesday morning at Duke's by the Huntington Beach Pier, the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach kicked off its Surfboards on Parade campaign with the first of 25 boards that will be displayed around town in the coming months to help fight skin cancer.
By Joe Haakenson | August 29, 2012
Al Merrick has shaped surfboards for some of the best surfers in the world and is considered by many the best shaper in the world. But he holds another title that is more important than any other: grandpa. Merrick is the grandfather of Daisy Love Merrick, and this Saturday the surfing world will come out to show their support for her. Daisy, who is 8, is facing cancer for the third time. Friends of the Merrick family, led by Christian Surfers U.S., have helped organize Paddle for Daisy, an international event to help raise money for Daisy's treatment.
By Michael Miller | August 1, 2012
They were Katie Sparks and McKenna Wetzel, the I-Don't-Know-and-I-Don't-Care Girls. If the Eader Elementary School classmates got a question that they didn't have a passionate answer to, those were their typical replies. McKenna's mother, Kristine Wetzel, might ask what they wanted to do that afternoon or where they felt like going, and she could often predict the answer - so much so that she anointed them both with a nickname. "That was their reply to everything," Wetzel said.
By Mona Shadia | May 9, 2012
Some came to Huntington Central Park from other parts of Orange County. Some drove for hours from places like Bakersfield. Some even came from out of state. But they all came with a common goal in mind: beating cancer. The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in Huntington Beach lasted from 11 a.m. Saturday to 11 a.m. Sunday. By noon Saturday, teams of participants sporting matching shirts filled the park, walking to raise funds for loved ones who either beat or are fighting cancer, or those who lost their lives to the disease.
By Chris Epting | March 7, 2012
In January, my daughter Claire and I spoke at Sowers Middle School for Author's Day. Before the first speech, a woman (whose 11-year-old daughter attends Sowers) approached me in the hall with a suggestion for this column: "Why don't you write about cancer?" We chatted for a few minutes, and she told me that two years ago, she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer, that she read this column and thought I might like to tell her story. We talked a bit more and, in her eyes, I saw someone who truly wanted to share her experience.
By Vic Leipzig and Lou Murray | February 8, 2012
I've been battling skin cancer for the past two months. More accurately, I've been battling my HMO to get my cancer removed. The good news is that surgery offered a complete cure for this type of cancer, and it is now gone. The bad news is that the surgery left a two-inch-long scar on my face. When Vic and I were in New Mexico in late December, it became obvious to me that the little "pimple" that I had developed in early December was no pimple. It was growing larger every day, had a crusty, scaly surface, and a pit of dead tissue in the middle.
By Mike Sciacca | January 25, 2012
Adversity seems to bring out the best in Thomas Smith. So does getting a little help from his friends. Smith, a freshman at Edison High, is a member of the Irvine Aquazots Swim Club boys' 13-14 team that last month set a National Age Group record in the 400-yard medley relay. The four, each 14 years old, set the record in the 13-14 boys' division with a time of 3 minutes, 29.45 seconds at the 2011 Speedo Championship Series California/Nevada Winter Sectional, hosted by Golden West Swim Club at the Golden West College pool Smith started the team's bid by turning in a time of 51.24 seconds in the backstroke.
By Mona Shadia | January 4, 2012
Some thought Huntington Beach City Attorney Jennifer McGrath was taking a 21-month vacation to Austria after she posted the news on her Facebook page. The post was perplexing on many levels. McGrath kept up the conversation with people who commented, telling them that technology would keep her connected to Huntington Beach and that her leave would be counted as a sabbatical. Sabbatical? She's an elected official. It turns out McGrath wasn't serious about the vacation.
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