by Amy Lehrer | photo by Dawn at Nicoli Productions

Celebrating Life

Local San Marcos resident Ruth Segura credits her mom for inspiring her. With only a second grade education from Mexico, her mom became an American citizen, bought a house, and raised five children as a single parent. Ruth said, “My mom reminds me that anything is possible.” Most assuredly, Ruth’s mom is proud of how her daughter lives her life.

“Every time I hear survivors speak, I realize every hour and minute I volunteer is worth it.”

Ruth values making human connections. She loves celebrating other people’s happiness with cake, adding that she has quite a sweet tooth. She continued, “Even though other people might think that it’s silly, I love how birthdays bring people together.” She also loves activities she can do with others like hiking, camping, and dancing. Her favorite hike begins at Discovery Lake and ends with the breathtaking view at Double peak, and Latin music is her preference for dancing.

Name: Ruth Segura
Community: San Marcos
Volunteer Affiliation: Relay For Life – “La Familia” team
Profession: Executive Assistant
Family: I have a big family!
Interests: Camping, hiking, family, fitness, and planning

Group: Relay for Life of San Marcos
Purpose: The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education and service.


volunteer_seguraNow 28, Ruth began volunteering at 16. She started at Panorama Teen and Family Resource Center and began participating with other teens from the center in The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraiser, after hearing Leslie Roman describe it in 2003. Finding the experience unforgettable, she participated for the entire 24 hours and has been a part of it every year since along with family members. She has volunteered in many capacities such as food, survivor, and sponsorship chair.

The Relay for Life event contains three important ceremonies. The Celebrate Ceremony begins at 9 a.m. with survivors sharing their experiences battling cancer. Zoe Sanchez-Richardson shared an especially moving story this past year about refusing to stop fighting despite being told by doctors her condition is terminal. Ruth shared, “Every time I hear survivors speak, I realize every hour and minute I volunteer is worth it.” The Remembrance Ceremony begins at 9 p.m. to honor survivors and victims of cancer. The track is filled with luminaria bags that contain notes for each person being honored. The Fight Back Ceremony ends the event with everyone making vows to commit themselves for a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer. Ruth decided to embrace fitness and has been committed to this since 2012.

Highlights of the event this year for Ruth were remembering her grandmother who died of brain cancer and watching her cousin, Sandra Osornio, walk the track for the first time as a survivor of breast cancer. Anyone who wishes to take part in this completely volunteer-run event should go to the provided website.