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MAKING A MARK: Pandas Fight Against Cancer

A nonprofit combating cancer picked an animal some believe to be cuddly and gentle to be its mascot. But the group is a force to be reckoned with.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — P.J. Reed thought a panda would be the perfect symbol for his nonprofit.

"A panda... me... cute, cuddly, big... what a perfect combo," he said.

Despite the comparison, Reed said it's really not about him at all.

"[The panda] just symbolize[s] hope, strength, unity to us," Reed explained. 

Pandas Fight Against Cancer helps ease financial burdens for families fighting different types of cancers. 

"We moved forward to making it a nonprofit by doing small gatherings, fundraising, selling the merchandise with the panda logo on it," he said. 

Halle Trigueiro said the styles of their merchandise change throughout the year to draw attention to different types of cancer.

"In October, we'll do something pink for breast cancer awareness," she said. "In September, we'll do something gold for childhood cancer awareness."

Trigueiro said the nonprofit made donations to three organizations and 18 families in need last year.

"We were able to raise over... 50 grand," she said. 

The group plans to raise even more this year, fueled by their mission for no one to fight cancer alone.

"Community is everything," Trigueiro said. "Just, you know, strength and hope and unity is what will get us there."

Pandas Fight Against Cancer is holding a back-to-school drive on Sunday, August 14.You can drop off school supplies from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Sandbar Surf Bar at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

You can also donate online.

Credit: Pandas Fight Against Cancer

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