Memorial Ride honors Valencia high school football player who died of leukemia

In loving memory of Pedro “Javi” Roman, a Valencia high school student who battled leukemia for two years, vehicles drove through the streets of Santa Clarita on Sunday afternoon in remembrance of the 17-year-old’s death in 2021.

Almost exactly one year after Javi’s death, a parade of motorcycles and vehicles gathered for a ride, starting at Santa Clarita Harley Davidson and passing the hospital where Javi died for a moment of silence before heading to the historic 49ER Saloon in Acton.

“The parade is a way to pay homage to him, to show him respect. I think it’s a great way to get your friends and the kids involved,” said family friend Alana Altmeyer, who was instrumental in organizing the memorial parade.

Described as “a true warrior and fighter” by Altmeyer, Javi has not only touched the lives of his loved ones, but will continue to impact lives with the “Studio 7 Foundation”, an organization created in his memory, aiming to help children with leukemia. diagnostic.

“When Pedro was battling this disease, he would talk about all the little children who were battling this disease and how bad he felt for them and he wished he could take their pain away. He was in the same situation as them,” said said Altmeyer “With the money donated to my foundation, I will get socks, stuffed animals, blankets and put everything together to take him to the hospital where he went to help the children there.”

The #21 Valencia High School football jersey holder died on February 1, 2021 of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a diagnosis he had been battling since 2019.

“He was one in a million kids,” Altmeyer said. “He looked and all like a cool kid, but inside he was the most genuine and compassionate person ever. He was an incredible soul.

See related: Valencia JV soccer players shave their heads in solidarity with teammate with leukemia

From the early days of Javi’s fight, Altmeyer, the mother of Javi’s high school friend, took the initiative to tell friends about his status and ask for donations, allowing parents to focus on recovery. hopeful of their 17-year-old.

Throughout Javi’s treatment, the community has come together to support the Valencia High School football player undergoing chemotherapy by showing up at games with banners and jerseys in his honor, while also contributing to fundraisers. of meals and a GoFundMe for Javi’s family.

“And when his cancer returned and Roman succumbed to his cancer on February 1, hundreds of classmates, teammates and community supporters showed up at his wake,” read a statement from the Studio 7 Foundation. “Those who attended brought purple glow sticks – a tribute to his school colors and his time as a No. 21 while playing Viking football.”

See related: The family of a Valencian high school student with leukemia organizes a surprise birthday car parade

The Studio 7 Foundation, inspired by Javi’s journey and developed by Altmeyer, aims to help families whose children have been diagnosed with leukemia.

“Parents should be able to focus on their child and not on the financial stress during their fight,” Altmeyer said. “We will also focus on the long-term effect and mental health of a family who has suffered a loss.”

To make a donation to the Studio 7 Foundation, click on here.

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