Family continues fight against cancer after losing daughter

Carla Contreras, 12, died in February from Leukemia, but her family continues to help other children in the community battle cancer.

The family of 12-year-old Carla Contreras is continuing the fight against cancer after their daughter was taken from them in February.

"It's like she's gone but she not dead," Lucia Perez, Carla's mom said. "We'll keep her alive doing what she wanted to do."

Perez said her daughter wanted to help other children with cancer, so that's exactly what she plans to do. Perez and her family joined 60 other pediatric cancer patients for a day at Wonderland Park. The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center hosts the event once a year, along with Panhandle Angels, the Outdoor Adventure Foundation and Circle of Friends.

"It gives them the chance to get out of the hospital, and it also gives them the chance to see us when we're not poking and prodding at them with needles," Brenda Chandler said.

For Perez, the Texas Tech physicians and nurses have become a second family.

"Nobody understand how close you get to the doctors, and nurses and other families," Perez said. "They were there for us while Carla was in the hospital, and they still are."