Alvarez Family: 2019 Janice Franz Beneficiary

Abby Wilt, Staff Reporter

This year, Wenatchee High School will host the 22nd Janice Franz Talent Show. Each year, members of the Wenatchee High School ASB work hard to organize, promote and manage a talent show to raise money for a certain person or cause. This year, the show will provide resources to support the Alvarez family.

The very first talent show supported Janice Franz, hence the name. Franz was a DECA advisor and business teacher at Wenatchee High School. During the school year, she was diagnosed with cancer, and her students wanted to do something to help. One student thought it would be a good idea to organize a talent show. There were very few acts, but the show raised $17,000. Since that year, the show has been a tradition and a memorable event for the community.

This year, the show will support the Alvarez family. Daniel Alvarez is a nine-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumor five years ago. Alvarez’s parents are Luis and Lany Alvarez. He has an older brother named Luis who is a junior here at Wenatchee High School. He also has a six-year-old brother named Ivan who goes to Washington Elementary.

The family found out about Alvarez’s cancer in June, one week after his birthday. Alvarez has had six surgeries during the time period. He has also been through radiation twice, as well as chemotherapy. The cancer has come back seven times. Currently, the family is waiting to try out a new medication trial. At the beginning of the school year, the cancer spread to Alvarez’s spine and in November, doctors told Alvarez that he had one month left to live. Fortunately, Alvarez is still living today and is in Wenatchee.

Alvarez’s parents spend their time traveling back and forth from their home in Wenatchee to Seattle Children’s Hospital. The funds raised from the talent show will be used for medical related expenses such as travel, lodging and meals. In addition, the Alvarez family said they will be using the money to pay off credit card debt that was used for medical expenses.

Alvarez loves Legos and Spiderman and appreciates how supportive his family has been throughout the whole process. Luis Alvarez, Daniel’s father, graduated from the University of Phoenix online, and he studied next to his son’s hospital bed to gain his bachelor’s degree. In addition, when Alvarez was younger, one of his teachers came to Seattle twice a week to teach him.

A few years ago, Alvarez expressed gratitude for his family’s support.

“My family loves and encourages me, and even though I face many challenges, I am brave and I am a fighter,” Alvarez said.

The Wenatchee High School ASB found out about the Alvarez family through Stephanie Stuber, a counselor at Wenatchee High School. She knew Luis Alvarez and told the ASB about his little brother’s cancer.

The goal for the talent show is to raise $12,000 for the Alvarez family. A lot of the money will come from businesses sponsoring, as well as ticket sales from the show.

The show will be Feb. 13-15, at 7 p.m, and tickets are $8 each. Come and show your support for Daniel Alvarez and his family.