BENEFITING: VILLA LA PAZ INC
EVENT DATE: Jan 07, 2016
On January 7th-10th, I will be running an event in Disney World called the “Dopey Challenge” (aptly named) wherein I will be running a 5K, 10K, a Half Marathon and a Marathon in consecutive days. I would like to dedicate this effort to the memory of Flor and to benefit the children of the Hogar.
Flor, a 14 year old girl living in Peru, suffered from the ravages of leukemia the past few years. She was a strong, sweet, spiritual girl who fought hard against her cancer despite the pain and a lack of resources to give her much reason for hope. I met Flor over Thanksgiving week when my daughter Lauren and I were volunteering at the Hogar San Francisco de Asis (the Hogar) in Chaclacayo, Peru. Thanks to Dr. Anthony Lazzara, his small, but dedicated, staff and the amazing volunteers, Flor was given a chance to receive treatment and possibly beat her cancer.
I spent a day with Flor in a Lima hospital and her courage fighting her illness was inspiring. Tragically, Flor passed a few weeks later, spending her last days at home with her family. The disease was too terrible and resources unavailable for her to prevail.
However, Flor’s story is just one of the many stories of hardship, success, setbacks, faith and love that the forty one remaining children at the Hogar face every day. These children suffer from a variety of health issues, including cancer, heart disease, extreme facial and body burns, cleft palates, down syndrome, cerebral palsy and more. Their only haven is the Hogar. There is no government support for these children and they are surrounded by significant poverty. Many are from impoverished homes, while others are orphans or have been abandoned due to their health issues. The children range in age from infants to seventeen and all must overcome physical disabilities and/or illness.
The Hogar is an amazing place. A home where the children eat, pray, sing and learn together. A lot is asked of them as they must do chores, go to classes, assist one another and confront their own health issues. The children bond with each other, the staff and the volunteers, who also provide love, support and encouragement.
I wish everyone a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year! Thanks in advance for whatever you can do to help the Hogar children have the same.