Don Stegman, Grover Beach

After forty years of marriage, Don and Jill Stegman had it all—two beautiful children, a stable relationship, fulfilling careers. But a blood cancer led Don to a bone marrow transplant in 2007. Recovery over the next several years included frequent bouts of graft-versus-host disease, which was treated with a drug called prednisone. 

Mia Chavez, Pomona

Alejandra Gonzalez took her six-week old infant, Mia, to medical providers four times in eight days. A mother of three, Alejandra knew when one of her children was not okay. But at each visit and with each call to her doctors, Mia’s symptoms were downplayed and Alejandra was told to take little Mia home.

Alex Smick, Downey

Alex Smick had a wonderful life mapped out for himself.  At 20, he was studying to be a surgical technician.  He was athletic, played guitar, and had a loving and supportive network of friends and family in his suburban L.A. community of Dowey.  He couldn’t wait to graduate and get a job to start saving money for an engagement ring for his long time girlfriend.

Daphne McClendon-Ricks

Around their Fresno neighborhood, Daphne McClendon-Ricks was known to all the kids simply as “Mom.” She was the shoulder to lean on, the unbreakable woman who salved wounds and gave good advice, and the friendly neighbor who helped mow a lawn or gave away vegetables from her bountiful backyard garden.  She was a vigorous 59-year-old except for one health problem: a nagging case of diverticulitis, an ailment of the colon.