Br’yana Jones still vividly remembers the spring day of 2021 when the then 31-year-old learned she had stage 4 colon cancer.
“My body almost went into shock,” recalls Jones, who received her diagnosis alone during a doctor’s visit at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. “What [the doctor] said replays in my head over and over, and the feeling never gets easier for me. “
She may be one of the lucky ones. After three grueling surgeries, during which Jones coded and experienced kidney failure, and 17 rounds of chemotherapy, she has been in remission since July 2022.
Instead of simply enjoying her cancer-free life again, Jones is on a new mission: raising funds for local families impacted by cancer and putting a smile on their faces. Through her new foundation “Survivor’s Hope,” Jones is planning a fundraising event called “Kickball for a Cause” at St. Bernard High School in Playa del Rey on Mar. 18 at 1 p.m.
“When I was out of work because of cancer, it was really hard for me financially,” Jones describes. “I personally know the journey — how it feels, the struggles.”
Jones says all the proceeds from the event, which already received more than 300 sign-ups, will go toward four local families, including one with a 2-year-old girl, who is struggling with leukemia.
St. Bernard High School is donating its football field for a few hours for the event. A school official tells NBC4 that teachers, parents and students witnessed how Jones bravely fought cancer while raising her four children.
.Paak House, a non-profit by musician Anderson .Paak, is also donating t-shirts for attendees to wear. The different colors of the shirts represent different types of cancer participants want to represent.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the family-friendly event, which will have games as well as giveaways.
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