Local breweries are teaming up to raise money for three families with children fighting cancer by creating a new drink.
“#Cheers4Sarah” is listed as a hazy IPA, and while the beer’s namesake isn’t old enough to drink, she can definitely feel the impact.
The beer was created by Gravity Heights, a Sorrento Valley brewery, where the staff is friends with the Loza family.
Sarah Loza was diagnosed with cancer two years ago when she was only 9 years old.
Gravity Heights, which is part of a brewing group called QUAFF, won best home brew in 2017 and earned a lot of free malt. So, they decided to create a new brew that would give back to their community.
The staff chose to name the brew after Sarah and donated the proceeds to her hospital bills.
“A lot of people stepped up and made it a lot easier to go through the process of chemotherapy with our daughter,” said Sarah’s dad, Miguel Loza. “And that made a huge impact on myself and my wife and my daughter. We have three girls.”
He said the money helped pay for her medical bills, and now that Sarah is in remission, he wants to help other families who also have kids fighting cancer.
“It was a huge relief. You try to focus on your child, then at the same time, life still goes on, and you got to take care of everything else around you,” Miguel Loza told NBC 7.
QUAFF won best home brew again in 2018 and decided to continue making more beer in Sarah’s name.
Nearly 30 breweries will participate in a fundraiser on Saturday, June 22, to sell Sarah’s beer. The proceeds will go to three families being cared for at Rady Children’s Hospital.
“I am so thankful for what Miguel is doing for us,” said Benedicta Adame, a mother of two children fighting cancer.
Adame’s 6-year-old daughter Valerie Blanco was diagnosed with a cancer inside her cartilage in September 2018. Then six months later, the unthinkable happened -- her son, 4-year-old Christian Blanco, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He will start chemotherapy on Thursday.
“It’s hard but they are both strong. They support each other -- he says things to her, like, ‘It’s OK,’ ‘You can do it,’” Adame told NBC 7.
Their love for each other helps give Benedicta strength through what she said is the most difficult time in her life.
The Lozas are also helping two other families with children who have cancer -- 5-year-old Mikayla Carriger and 8-year-old O’Brayantt Padilla.
Carriger lives at a homeless shelter in Vista when she is not at Rady’s. She was diagnosed in April 2017 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She is blind in her right eye from the cancer.
Padilla is battling a cancer that is in his bones called rhabdomyosarcoma, and it has a low survival rate.
For a list of the breweries that will be selling #Cheers4Sarah check out the map below:
For more information, visit Gravity Heights’ Facebook page.