The passing of an 11-year-old boy due to leukemia— such a heartbreaking moment has somehow led to an on-going legacy of bringing happiness and increased awareness.
In honor of 11-year-old Bryson Yang passing away from leukemia, class of 2020 alumni Breanna Yang created Diamond Bar High School’s Sunshine Club. The club fulfils both her and her brother’s wishes of bringing joy to pediatric patients, while spreading awareness of the fatal conditions they suffer from.
Since Yang’s graduation from DBHS, senior Kristin Joe has taken on the role of president, hoping to expand even further on the Sunshine Club legacy that Yang had to leave behind.
“My main goal with Sunshine Club is to impact as many patients’ lives as possible,” Joe said via Instagram. “Through our efforts to help out patients, we hope that the club can reassure many patients.”
With the intent of spreading awareness, she also wants club members to interact with patients more this year.
“I hope to make our club members more aware of the impact that cancer has on thousands of children and their families’ lives,” Joe said. “We want to encourage members to spread awareness to the community themselves.”
In previous school years, Sunshine Club has held a variety of different interactive events for club members. They had a program that offered free tutoring to pediatric cancer patients and donated gift bags during the holidays; they also plan to pursue similar programs this year.
So far, the club’s goal of spreading joy and awareness has been continuing to draw in members. Senior club member Jolina Chen said she was influenced to join the club, because she was passionate about their cause.
“I joined Sunshine Club because I really, really admire its mission; that being cheering up kids with pediatric cancer while also spreading awareness about the topic,” Chen said. “It’s heartbreaking that these kids don’t get to really enjoy being kids.”
She also explained how the club has taught her to take nothing for granted, even simple everyday activities.
“To these kids, even something as small as writing them a card or a simple gesture can mean a lot to them,” Chen said. “I hope that my experiences in this club keeps me grateful for what I have, and I hope I can make [patients’] days a little brighter through Sunshine Club.”