Last August, “Sunny the California Girl” got her moment in the sun again, a testament to her fight against colon cancer.

Sunny the California Girl, who by day is Patricia Summerland, was honored with the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Courage Award at its annual banquet in Las Vegas.

It was no surprise that she was emotional receiving the reward, soaking in the love and support from wrestling’s sisterhood and brotherhood.

“I just want to thank everybody,” Summerland said in her acceptance speech. “I’m going to get through it, But again, it’s important. That’s why I’m here. You know, I’m here and as long as I’m able to breathe, I’m gonna be here.”

Patricia Summerland, also known as 'Sunny The California Girl' with CM Punk.

Patricia Summerland, also known as ‘Sunny The California Girl’ with CM Punk. Photo: Patricia Summerland Instagram account

Back in 2021, Summerland was diagnosed with colon cancer, and was told she only had five years to live. A nine-hour surgery to remove the tumor followed.

Taking her “Sunny” personality from her days in GLOW to heart, Summerland chooses to look at the bright side, joking around.

“People go, ‘So you’re okay now?’ I say, ‘Well, I don’t know, I’ll tell you one thing. I’m half an ass.’ They’re like, ‘You’re not half an ass’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m really half an ass,'” Summerland laughed while chatting with “Because they cut it out, and now I have half a colon and half a rectum. And I’m still going through the colon cancer.”

Cancer never quite goes away, which Summerland knows more than most as a nurse.

“I will know in April where I’m at, because once you have cancer, when they say it’s in remission or something like that, you can’t take it to heart and go, ‘Yay! I’m healed!'” she noted. There’s a good chance cancer will “strike in different areas. And so it’s a never-ending battle.”

Even in her continuous battle, Summerland remains optimistic and tries to give back to others at the day job.

Her specialties include helping patients with dementia and severe diseases, meaning she has been there to the end on many occasions. Summerland is currently helping someone with ALS.

It’s never easy, she admitted. “It’s sad. And most people can’t handle this, but I feel like I’m giving back to help them to the end to give them some help, peace, and happiness.”

Summerland also dedicates some volunteer time to the Colon Cancer Coalition.

As a 20-year-old, Summerland broke into pro wrestling as Sunny, The California Girl, on the show GLOW / Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. She got this name because GLOW’s producer Matt Cimber said she reminded him of his deceased wife, famed actress/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield.

Sunny the California girl talking smack.

Sunny the California girl talking smack. Photo: Patricia Summerland Instagram Account.

Wrestling was a full-circle experience for her. Summerland’s father was a big fan and took her to a few shows. After a really bloody match she saw in person, she was terrified of it.

Years down the road, her father had GLOW on the TV and asked his daughter to watch it with him. Summerland thought the ladies on it were “kicking some ass.” At the show’s end, there was an ad looking for new talent, and that’s when she took a leap of faith and auditioned. She was hired and was part of the show for the third and fourth seasons.

Summerland worked with fellow GLOW girls such as Roxy Astor, Mountain Fuji, and Hollywood during her two seasons.

In recent years, the Cauliflower Alley Club — which is essentially wrestling’s alumni association — has opened its arms to GLOW, honoring Cimber and the entire crew in 2017.

The Courage Award on August 29, 2023, was a surprise.

It was an emotional scene.

“I couldn’t even describe such a moment,” she said. “You’re so overwhelmed with joy and happiness, and this is incredible, and a true honor that I hold dear to my heart.”

Summerland considers the CAC, a non-profit corporation, her extended family and the best thing that has ever happened to her. She looks forward to the reunion every year, and is planning on being back in August 2024, ideally cancer-free.

TOP PHOTO: Patricia Sutherland, aka Sunny the California Girl from GLOW and Rich Ingling with her Courage Award at the Cauliflower Alley Club Baloney Blowout on Tuesday, August 29, 2023, at the Plaza Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Photo by Brad McFarlin