BENEFITING: Cancer Research Institute, Inc.
EVENT DATE: Mar 19, 2017
Hi Friends and Family!
In March 2017, I am honored & excited to be running the Los Angeles Marathon, using my passion for running to raise money for Cancer Institute Research Center and the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s center!
Just about everyone one of us knows someone who has died from cancer or currently has this heartbreaking disease. In 2016, there will be approximately 1.7 Million new cancer cases diagnosed and about 600,000 deaths in the U.S. alone. It SUCKS, and because of the commonality of the word "Cancer", we tend to be desensitized to the daily difficult hardships these Cancer patients and their immediate loved ones endure on a daily basis.
I am on a strict 26 Week Marathon Training schedule with the fab Pasadena Pacers running club in order to successfully accomplish this 26.2 mile race (God willingly) with other half marathons along the way!
How you can help:
I’m hoping that you will join me in making donations for these important causes regardless if its a one time donation of $1, $5, $10 $20, or greater, or if you would sponsor me for an amount per mile, you name it! Every contribution, no matter how much, makes a real difference in my effort to make an impact. Thank you in advance for your generous support, let's make progress together on a horrific disease and the livelihood of disadvantaged women in our city of Angels. May we rise by lifting others through compassion and service.
Why train to run 26.2 Miles?
Because I can and so many people who would want to physically can't.
In August 2012 my Mother Elsa spent a difficult year of battling Stage 4 Lung Cancer as a result of asbestos exposure. Watching Mom physically deteriorate and reach a state of full dependency on oxygen without being able to run or walk was the best and worse thing to happen to me. Enlightenment surfaced and I learned two big lessons: 1.Many people within our communities are suffering from cancer with little to no local body support, and 2. We should appreciate and utilize our opportunities of being blessed with good healthy bodies while we can. This Marathon is a manifestation of those Cancer related experiences, my Mother's legacy of compassion for non-profits, and my God given love for running while serving.
In Memory of:
This Race is also in memory of other beloved Cancer fighters I knew: Uncle Mike, Tito Dar Vengco, Tita Aurora Banaag Rebultan, Nilesh Shah and Vivian Azizi. (Their names will be on the back of my customized shirt during the actual race & they'll be right there with me.)
Walk the walk:
Along with raising funds for these organizations, I physically volunteer for cancer/homeless related charities. I have been fortunate enough to make monthly voluntary commitments to being a "Road to Recovery" driver for chemo patients for the Burbank chapter of The American Cancer Society, (lending encouragement to people going through cancer treatment while providing them with the practical support of a ride), and a snack pack curator for The Downtown Women's Center.
-Sophia Yvette Balina "We can do all great thing things through Christ who strengthens me." PHIL 4:13
Cancer Insititute Research Center
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world's leading nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to harnessing the immune system's power to conquer all cancers. CRI is also helping people take steps to prevent cancer or find it at its earliest, most treatable stage, and developing physical activity guidelines to help people eat healthy and get active. This organization is one that interacts with patients on a more intimate scale while also embarking on a grander scale of progressively discovering new Cancer Research. Unlike other popular Cancer charities, CRI uses 85% of their donations on actual cancer research.
Downtown Women's Center
Women comprise 61% of the overall homeless population increase since 2013. DWC's mission is to provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability, and to advocate ending homelessness for women. For homeless or formerly homeless women, barriers to employment can range from physical disabilities and mental health obstacles to a lack of formal work experience or long bouts of unemployment after job loss. They provide classes in computer skills, literacy and math, academic and vocational counseling sessions. Together, they train and employ women overcoming homelessness, and continue to provide them support throughout the process and 90% of women maintain employment. Through volunteer-led workshops, women rebuild self-confidence and learn skills like sewing, photography, creative writing, acting, and more. As an Angeleno we are naturally exposed to homelessness and its a fantastic opportunity to help these women we often drive by and often ignore.