After losing her mother to colon cancer about four years ago, Golboo Davari needed to do something thing to help her cope with the loss and find a way to help others with the disease.

Rather than simply donate money to the American Cancer Society, she decided to volunteer with the nonprofit's program Road to Recovery, driving patients to and from their treatments.

"This is my way of giving cancer the finger," Davari said. "At least for that day, that one person is going to have one less thing to worry about."

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She and many others will get their chance to fight back against the disease at Huntington Beach's annual 24-hour Relay For Life walk and fundraiser at Central Park on Saturday.

Beginning at 9 a.m., participants will take turns walking around the half-mile track in the park. They will also take part in various activities throughout the day, including decorating a luminaria — a paper bag in which a candle is placed. The objects will be illuminated at dark to honor those affected by cancer, said Stephanie Deagle, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and its Orange County Road to Recovery coordinator.

Davari, 43, of Laguna Niguel, said people typically try to distance themselves from cancer after the loss of a loved one. She, however, felt compelled to be with people battling the disease.

"Everybody was against it and thought I had completely lost my mind," she said. "I don't know how to explain it.… I was just so angry [with the loss of my mother] that I felt like I just couldn't pull myself away and just needed to physically touch a person versus writing a check."

Within months of her mother's death, Davari joined Road To Recovery. Once or twice a week, she would take cancer patients from around south Orange County to their doctor's appointments.

It wasn't easy at first, and at times the volunteering is still a struggle.

"Once in awhile, there is a patient that would remind me about my mom," Davari said. "Sometimes their hands would look just like my mom's. They would be the same age as her or say something she used to say. Those are the times when I have to really compose myself. There have been moments where I have to just sit down and cry a little bit."

Having volunteered for Road To Recovery for four years now, Davari said she can't see herself stopping. She takes her driver-companion role seriously, sitting inside the facility to wait for the patient to finish his or her treatment.

"It's a very fulfilling experience. It really is," she said. "It's not just for the patients. I think it also helps the drivers. Everybody that I know has been impacted, either with themselves having cancer or losing someone to cancer. I think it's a healing process for the patient and the driver."

If You Go

Who: American Cancer Society

What: Relay For Life

When: 9 a.m. June 7 to 9 a.m. June 8

Where: Central Park, 6741 Central Park Drive

Participants are encouraged to donate $10

For more information on Road To Recovery, contact Stephanie Deagle at (562) 256-3152