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Mariachi bands play at Montebello fundraiser for breast cancer victim

June 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Southern California mariachi bands took part in a fundraiser Monday night for a young breast cancer victim and her family.

Five mariachi groups played an eight-hour concert before a sold out crowd at Fiesta Mexicana restaurant in Montebello.

Watching her dance on stage for the event dubbed Viva La Vida, one would never guess that Anisette Noperi is in the fight of her life. The 23-year-old was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

But Monday night wasn't about operating rooms or chemotherapy. It was about living life.

"Live your life to the fullest, like every day is your last. I think this has shown me that when we're united, anything's possible," said Noperi.

Proceeds from the concert were to pay for Noperi's medical bills.

"We're mariachi, we don't have any health insurance, we don't have any benefits, and this is the only thing that we can really do to help her out," said organizer Ruben Ramos.

Noperi lives in Tucson, Ariz., but spent summers in Los Angeles because her parents played in local mariachi bands.

"I'm surprised by the big turnout. I knew there was going to be some friends, but oh my gosh," said Noperi's father, Juan.

Noperi said she was very grateful for her extended musical family that came out to help her in her time of need.

"I hope they felt that same energy from me, because it was kind of like, I'm ready. I'm coming back strong. Nothing's going to stop me," said Noperi.

Organizers of the event didn't advertise it. It was all word of mouth. They originally thought they would raise several hundred dollars. They ended up raising about $8,000.

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