High school cheerleader in California diagnosed with rare form of lung cancer


"She has a tumor in her chest, it is currently undiagnosed," said Tony Lopez, Sandra's cousin.

It all started while Sandra was cheerleading at a January basketball game.

"She did cheer the whole game, and Sandra is not the kind to complain so she didn't show signs of anything being wrong," said Maria "Lulu" Mendez, a cheer advisor at Azusa High School.

But after the game, Sandra told her mother she was having a hard time breathing.

Her mom took her to the emergency room where doctors found a large 7-inch cancerous tumor on her lungs. She then underwent a dangerous procedure for doctors to get a biopsy of the tumor.

"Once they had the biopsy, she started bleeding internally, causing one of her lungs to collapse," said Lopez.

The teenager, with a dream to become a surgeon, volunteered at a Long Beach hospital on the weekends. She is now in a medically-induced coma while her lungs heal.

While her immediate family stays by her bedside, other family members are trying raise funds to help pay for medical bills.

Her loved ones are selling teal ribbons for $5 in order to raise funds to help pay for Sandra's mounting medical bills.

On Tuesday, they also held a fundraiser at Couwami Asian Fusion. One-hundred percent of the sales were donated to Sandra's family.

Sandra's family as well as her teammates are hoping they will see the outgoing girl with the bright warm smile bounce back soon.

"I do wish that she gets healthy soon, that they can get her back on her feet, and that she is back at our side," said Mendez.

For more information on how you can donate and help Sandra, visit www.youcaring.com.

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