Cancer stricken student an inspiration to many

Posted at: 03/13/2013 11:13 PM
By: Gadi Schwartz, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Photo: Karleen Zetina
Photo: Karleen Zetina

It’s a story of perseverance that is inspiring thousands across New Mexico.

This week, KOB Eyewitness News 4 introduced you to 17-year-old Karleen Zetina, a West Mesa High School senior who is battling brain cancer.

For several weeks Karleen has been trying to encourage her classmates to make the most of their high school experience and education and earned her diploma despite four surgeries and a tumor growing in her brain.

On Wednesday, Power 106.3’s DJ Double J played KOB’s story profiling Karleen and soon listeners responded in droves.

After learning that Karleen’s families car was having trouble, Double J contacted Marc Powell, owner of the car dealership “Recarnation” to see if he could help.

Powell ended up donating a brand new convertible PT Cruiser to the family as a graduation present when they showed up expecting to get their vehicle repaired.

In tears, a line of strangers formed with others who had been inspired by Karleen’s story. Many brought cards and balloons and small gifts and donations.

 “Touch her, go ahead and touch the angel,” one mother told her children.

When asked about how she felt about the outpouring of support Karleen said, “I just want people to have God with them, and have God hold their hand and believe that he's there.”

When asked what else she needed, once again Karleen put the wants of others first and asked for help in giving her high school a prom to remember. “I want it for my school,” Karleen said.

“I want to give them something also, because they're great.”

Double J and many of his listeners have vowed to help, so far offering a limo ride, dinners, dresses, make-overs and even a band.

 “I have an 18 year old daughter and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like if she was going through this,” Double J said.

A fund has also been set up at Bank of America to help Karleen’s family with expenses under the names Karleen Zetina and Victoria Tirone.