Bailey Rocha, an 8-year-old Newman girl who embodied the adage "Never give up" in her fight against cancer, died Tuesday at Children's Hospital Central California near Madera.
Bailey was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at age 4. After a long remission, she suffered a relapse last year.
A visitation will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. today followed by a funeral service at 10 at Orestimba High School gym in Newman. The burial will follow at Hills-Ferry Cemetery at 1334 W. Stuhr Road, Newman.
The third-grader was born Feb. 25, 1999, in Modesto, but she lived with her family in Newman, where she attended Von Renner Elementary School.
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Bailey's struggle with cancer galvanized community support.
Several community groups and merchants in Newman and Gustine, including Orestimba High's Interact Club, the Borba family ranch, pizza parlors and gift shops, held fund-raisers to help the Rocha family with expenses for Bailey's treatment.
Randy Rocha, a teacher at Orestimba High, said in an interview with The Bee last year that the community support offered much needed hope to his family. He said in the interview that his daughter had "a beautiful little heart, and she always sees and feels the people around her."
Bailey is survived by her parents, Randy and Kathryn Rocha, her brothers Blake and Bryce Rocha, her sister Brooke Rocha, her grandparents Ed and Dellayne Rocha of Newman and Nadean Costa of Manteca, and her great-grandmother Louise Evans of Stockton. She was preceded in death by her grandfather Joaquin Costa.
Remembrances can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Sacramento at 3841 Freeway Blvd., Suite 185, Sacramento 95834, or Memorial Hospital Foundation Rock Program at 1316 Celeste Drive, Suite 104, Modesto 95355.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2394.