Fresno High School student finds colorful way to raise funds for Valley Children's

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Green and blue blasted runners from the start of the Fresno High School Color Run.

The fundraiser was the brainchild of Jose Gutierrez. The 18-year-old set it all up to help Valley Children's, in part because he's been there himself for treatment on an abdominal issue.

"I was scared but I felt like I was protected," he said. "I felt like I was really covered and being watched over."

Runners got pledges and did laps around the campus and the track.

Jose even ran the course himself, starting the day in all white and ending it in a dusty rainbow.

But you might've noticed a hashtag when his shirt was still clean. It says "I'm a Fighter" and the back side says "Strength."

He's needed a lot of strength to fight through his senior year.

Jose's mother died of cancer in early March.

Through his grief, he says he wanted to do something big in her honor, but he almost gave up on his goal.

His grandmother says, sometimes the fight was all he had.

"It's giving him meaning to go forward and fight that disease we call cancer," said Mary McPeters.

"Something sparked when my mom passed and by doing this," Gutierrez said. "This will actually put me at rest, not entirely at rest, but at least I know she'll be proud of me and I know this is something she would want."

Jose raised hundreds of dollars for Valley Children's and he crosses the finish line for high school in a few days.

After that, it's on to Fresno City College, and a colorful future.
Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.