Paul Wellman

Viva La Vida Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Cancer Center of Santa Barbara Honors Cancer Survivors and Families

Overlooking the scenic view of the marina, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara fittingly celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual event — Viva La Vida — on June 5 at Santa Barbara City College’s West Campus in order to uplift and commemorate cancer survivors and patients.

Viva La Vida has been celebrated every year since 1980, and is affiliated with the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit organization that provides state-of-the art cancer treatment. The aim of the event is to let those affected with cancer just forget about their treatment and instead celebrate their lives.

“It’s a nice day to escape a cancer diagnosis,” Lindsay Groark, Public Relations Coordinator of the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, said. “It’s celebrating life, just forgetting about doctors, and instead focusing on strength. It encourages cancer survivors.”

Among the survivors was radiation oncologist Dr. Thomas Weisenburger, a graduate of UCLA and thyroid cancer survivor. “As a physician, it’s nice to see my patients in this event,” Weisenburger said. “You know, people with cancer are just like everybody else, but they also have courage to face difficulties and survive. My patients inspire me.”

The festivities included an arts-and-craft booth, an alpaca exhibition, a game booth with soccer and three-legged races, a massage parlor, magicians, a DJ, clowns, and an inflatable bouncer. Additionally, Groark and other volunteers took snapshots of cancer survivors for their Celebrating Survivors Project, which is a photo collage of cancer survivor pictures and stories that will be displayed later on their website.

All of the amenities, including food, were free for attendees because of the generous support from corporations and foundations that contribute to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Senior Fair Hosts the ‘Young at Heart’

The Senior Fair brought together more than 25 organizations to match needs with services.

City College Ranked #1 by Value Colleges

High graduation rate, community service, and online degree programs made SBCC a 'flawless investment.'

News Commentary: Ribbon Cutting Is Not as Easy as It Looks

Grand opening for new Eastside bridge conveys a tingle of progress.

Santa Barbara Rental Prices Have Skyrocketed Over the Last Five Years

The average rent for a South Coast studio is $1,553.

Trio Stops the Show at Board of Education

More than a dozen appeal to Santa Barbara Unified School District to maintain music classes and programs.