Victory is Ours: Daren Richardson's legacy

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Hans Christian Andersen once wrote, "Where words fail, music speaks."

Members of the West High School Viking Regiment understand that sentiment. 

They've revealed a new song, an original composition by director Nick Rodriguez. 

Its title: "A Legacy of Hope."

Its inspiration: former band member Daren Richardson. 

In October, Richardson told his classmates the disease he was battling was terminal.

"I just have a small announcement to make.  It's about my cancer and turns out that I am terminal and I have six months to a year to live," Richardson said at the time. 

Richardson made that announcement at West High School's homecoming football game. 

It was ten months after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer that attacks bone marrow.

Despite the diagnosis he remained optimistic about the struggle ahead.  

"All terminal really means is that medically we are running out of options but we just have to look more for those options and fight harder and that's exactly what I'm going to do, I'm going to live a lot longer that  six months to a year," Richardson said. 

Richardson died on March 14. 

He was 17. 

Although gone his memory and his message live on. 

"I hope to make people more aware of the struggles of cancer," Richardson said in February. 

Richardson spent the last year of his life raising awareness about childhood cancer.

He started a Facebook page and website, encouraging others through their battles, reaching them through music. 

"Darren's hope at the end turned into a more meaningful embracing of the world, embracing people, making a connection with people and this music does that," said Sherie Richardson, Daren Richardson's mother. 

His legacy is in his band director's song.  

It's a song of hope and remembrance. 

It's a message to carry on.  

"Keep on fighting no matter what you got.  Live life by the day for the day and be strong, if not for yourself for your loved ones," Richardson said in October. 

For inspiring his classmates, teachers and the community, Richardson is a finalist for the Kern High School District's PEAAK Awards.

The winner of the honor will be announced Wednesday night. 

If you'd like to continue Richardson's mission of advocating and raising awareness for young cancer patients, check out his Facebook page here.  Click here to view his website. 


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