KING CITY — Rhett Falsey and Yolanda Maldonando are this year’s King City Relay for Life dedication honorees nominated by the event leadership staff members.

Falsey was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a form of bone cancer at 3 years old. Ewing’s Sarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer not normally seen in children  but in teenagers.

“Rhett was a very rare case,” said his mother Kelly Falsey. “There was only two cases of it seen in toddlers.”

Rhett Falsey received chemo surgery and radiation before going into remission. He relapsed when he was 6 years old and had a cancer tumor between his skull and membrane. He went through the same process of chemo, surgery and radiation once again.

“The second round was very hard on him,” Kelly Falsey said.

Rhett Falsey was on track to complete a stem cell transplant, similar to a bone marrow transplant but because of the damage to his body from the chemo the doctors could not perform the surgery.

The doctors gave him an 80 percent chance of survival and another 20 percent chance of the cancer returning. He has been cancer free for 12 years and is now 21 years old.

Rhett Falsey, his mom and his sister, Jacy, all participate on the board for Relay for Life. The three said they are very grateful for the support they received from the community and the American Cancer Society.

Sharing the Co-Dedication Honor with Rhett Falsey is Yolanda Maldonando.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized,” Maldonando said. “It was a huge surprise for me, I wasn’t expecting it. I feel very blessed because despite all the challenges and all the struggles, I’m here and I am a big miracle of our lord.”

Maldonando said she would not have been able to become a cancer survivor without the support of the community members, her co-workers, friends, and her family. She gives the most credit to her husband and caregiver, Alfonso Maldonando.

“This has been a very tough journey, a very difficult one,” she said. “Not only did I experience it once in my life but I experienced it twice.”

Yolanda Maldonando experienced breast cancer in October and then in August was diagnosed with MAL (Malignant Neoplasm). She said that it can get really difficult but people should never lose their faith or give up and always have hope that a cancer diagnosis does not mean a death sentence.

“We can do it, we are not alone,” Yolanda Maldonando said.

The King City Relay for Life will celebrate its sixth year on Aug. 5 and 6 at San Lorenzo Park. To learn more, sign up a team or join a group, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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