Ron Galarze of Whittier earlier this year quit his job as manager and funeral director at Guerra and Gutierrez Mortuary, and wiped out his 401k in order to take care of his sister, who was diagnosed with stage-four breast and bone cancer.
Now, Galarze is going to dance continuously in his front yard to raise money to help his sister, Julie Galarze of Brea.
Ron Galarze said people can come and donate. There also will be raffles and door prizes.
“I’m doing it to lift the spirits and to give her courage to keep fighting, to raise funds and help her with the catastrophic amount of bills that are her portion that she no longer can handle due to her disability,” Galarze said.
“None of us can. We’d like to leave her some kind of hope that people are donating their time, love and prayers to her,” Galarze said. “All of that has been so effective in her care.”
Galarze already has established a Go Fund Me account with a goal of $12,000. So far, the site had raised $1,890.
In August 2015, Julie Galarze was diagnosed with stage-four breast and bone cancer.
“The prognosis was bleak. But cancer has come a long way and medications have been outstanding, probably due to her age,” he said.
She turns 50 on Aug. 3.
For a while, the treatment went well, she said.
“I was taking my cancer meds, and in March I woke up with so much pain in my back, I couldn’t move,” Julie Galarze said.
Galarze was taken to St. Jude Medical Center for a week and her doctor said the cancer had spread to the spine. She had multiple fractures. She was treated with radiation and chemo.
But paying the bills was difficult since Medicare only paid a portion of the bills, which range from $190 to $500, she said.
“Either I pay it or I’ll skip it and get it the following month,” Julie Galarze said.
Galarze said she’s appreciative of what her brother has been doing for her.
“I can’t drive and he takes me to the doctor and for my chemo,” she said.
“If I want to get a manicure/pedicure, he’ll take me,” Galarze said. “He’s a great brother who always has been there for me since day one.”
Ron Galarze was finding he was taking too much time off from work and decided to quit his job and use his 401k to pay his bills.
“It’s been a break for everyone,” he said of his decision to quit his job. “It’s a huge amount of stress that has been lifted.”
Ron Galarze also is known in the Whittier community. He has been the announcer for the Uptown Whittier Christmas parade since 2019 and will be doing it again this year. He also announced the Whittier Sonata.
Frank Medina, past president of the Whittier Uptown Association, who got Galarze to announce the parade, called him an “exceptional man.”
“He is engaging and brings life with him,” Medina said. “It’s almost like watching a Broadway show. He was electric and engaging.”
Galarze said he’ll be wearing one of his costumes from his theater days when he performed at the San Gabriel Civic Theater.
Galarze said he’s not worried about his ability to go for three hours, having run five marathons. He also compared his own marathons to what his sister has gone through.
“My sister has been running her cancer marathon for seven years and she is a soldier who is winning the battle because her spirit is not down,” Galarze said. “I want to quicken her spirit.”
Galarze will be dancing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday at his house, 6211 Greenleaf Ave.