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Young Mantecan dancer battles bone cancer
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Destiny Herrera is looking to kick cancer in the butt.

That’s been the motto of this 9-year-old Manteca girl who has been receiving treatment for a bone cancer known as osteosarcoma, according to family friend Raquel Babauta.

“She’s determined (to beat cancer),” she said.

Herrera and Babauta’s daughter, Kelilana, who is a fourth-grade student at Veritas School, have been classmates since kindergarten.

Since her diagnosis, Destiny Herrera, who has been receiving medical treatment at Oakland’s Children Hospital, has several fundraisers planned to help her family defray cost for the ongoing medical bills, prescriptions, and transportation, including:

• The 209 Cheer and Dance event on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 4203 Coronado Ave., Suite 1, Stockton, from 8 a.m. to noon.  About 100 youngsters between the ages of 5 through 12 will learn a half-time routine for the University of the Pacific women’s basketball game vs. UC Santa Barbara later in the day. Cost is $35 on a first come, first serve basis. Registration can be conducted online at

• The Destiny for Childhood Cancer Awareness dinner (pork loin or chicken) / dance (music by Jose “Jammin J” Laguna) on Saturday, Feb. 23, at the FESM Hall, 240 N. Main St., Manteca, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Takeout meals available from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. Cost is $20 for adults in advance and $25 at the door, and $10 for children age 12 and under in advance and $15 at the door.  For tickets or to donate a prize for the drawing and / or auction, call Sandra Bettencourt (408-761-6395), Ronnie Tiscareno (209-275-2787), or Dee Pacheco (209-858-7390).  

Herrera has been involved in dance since she was 3. Babauta noted that it was Destiny who introduced her daughter to dance.

A persistent pain in her leg and knee was the first signs that something was wrong with young Herrera. She soon developed a cyst on her outer knee that was surgically removed.

That cyst turned out to be cancer.

She’s in the second phase of undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.

“Chemo has taken a toll on her body,” said Babauta, who continues to be amazed at Herrera’s fighting spirit.

A donation account on behalf of the youngster has been established at Union Bank.

Checks or cash can be dropped off at any Union Bank in the name of: Destiny Herrera, in care of Sabrina Herrera (mom / signer), Acct. # 0030355261.