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Bakersfield cancer survivor spreads hope with Bags of Love

A group of friends pack Bags of Love for children undergoing cancer treatment. Dec. 22, 2018. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

A 17-year-old from Bakersfield is spreading love in bags.

Julian Castaneda is a senior at South High School. He was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, when he was 10 years old.

He said the cancer disappeared, but returned two years later.

After his second diagnosis, Castaneda's received a bone marrow transplant.

"Now, I'm fine," Castaneda said.

He is now cancer-free but continues to fight for those children who are not.

He and a group of friends gathered at the St. Francis of Assisi church on Saturday to pack “Bags of Love.”

Together, they filled bags with gifts to distribute to cancer patients throughout California hospitals.

Castaneda said he wants these bags to bring hope to the many patients going through the similar journey he did.

"When you're in the hospital for a long time, you feel like, you feel like, you can't do anything because you're in that room, for, it could be months at a time," Castaneda said. “Not every patient gets to have Christmas like everybody else.”

Castaneda said the project started as an idea, but now he is in the process of making into a nonprofit.

"I want each patient that gets one of these bags to know that there's always hope," he said.

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