INDIO, Calif. -

September 1 marks the start of childhood cancer awareness month. Shadow Hills High School participated by honoring Riley Rose Sherman, a five-year-old girl diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, and all other children impacted by the disease.

Two students at the school shared their triumph over the disease. Doctors diagnosed Yanhely Hernandez and Brianna Conticelli with cancer. Their fight to survive is what brought them together, but their strength to move forward is what's bonded them for life.

"I had acute Mylogonast Leukemia," said Yanhely Hernandez.

"Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, diagnosed at the age of 12," said Brianna Conticelli.

Both women said they don't think they could have done it without each other.

"I think it meant more to us than anything. To have support not only from family, but from a friend that understands the struggle that you went through," Hernandez said.

The two, now cancer free, said they are thankful for each day they're alive. But others aren't as lucky. Vanessa Britton is a math teacher at Shadow Hills who lost a family member, Olivia, to cancer.
 
"So she was diagnosed with AML Leukemia when she was six months old. She turned two last November and we lost her last December around the holidays," Britton said.

She said seeing all of these students dressed in gold makes her proud.

"It makes me happy to be a part of a school and a community that's willing to raise awareness to childhood cancer," Britton said.

Conticelli said her battle with the disease inspired her future career.

"I know I want to definitely go into the medical field now.  I've also done charity work for LLS, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, and I've raised over $50,000 for them," Conticelli said.

All agreed that a small act of kindness makes a big difference to those impacted by the disease.