It was one of the many photographs displayed during the city’s annual Relay for Life event on April 27.
A woman with brown hair, glasses and a smile on her face. Dressed in a gray and black top and a pair of white angel’s wings on her back, underneath the photo, words that read, “In memory of Margaret Ruiz.”
Ruiz died of ovarian cancer on May 23, 2017 and was one of the many cancer victims honored during Reedley’s Reay for Life.
The 24-hour fundraising event is held to honor cancer victims and raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society. It includes an opening ceremony, survivor and caregiver walking laps around the track, and lighting luminaries at dusk to honor those who lost their battle with cancer.
“It all happened really quick,” said Darla Gonzalez, daughter of Margaret. “She found out March 23, 2017 and she passed in May. She was gone within a month, a month-and-a-half.”
Gonzalez was at Relay for Life along with her sister Amanda Ruiz, her brother-in-law, Greg Hicks, niece, Emma Hicks and brother, Joseph Ruiz.
The two sisters said losing their mother to cancer has not been easy.
“So for us, the timestamp for Re- lay for Life, every year now it gets to us because we are doing this to honor her,” said Gonzalez. “Because not every- one knows about ovarian cancer. It’s a cancer that you can’t detect, it’s hard to find and by the time you find it, you’re already at stage 4.”
Gonzalez added that both the diagnosis and the death of her mother was a shock to her entire family.
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