Our family became entangled in the fight against pancreatic cancer last June when Regina Martin received “the diagnosis.” Based on our research, we learned pancreatic cancer is essentially a death sentence. Although Regina had been energetic, vibrant & young at heart, we watched her become fatigued, have trouble breathing, and lose weight. A few short months later, we were wearing purple at her funeral and the reception hall was a sea of purple. But our story does not end there.
A family member ran across the Hirshberg Foundation website. Our family organized a team (Martin’s Marchers) & participated in our first L.A. Cancer Challenge 5K walk. We created t-shirts, wore carnival masks, submitted photos for the Tribute Video, wore Tribute Bibs, and designed a square for the Memory Quilt. Our team representatives attended the Team Captain Kick-Off Party which was a great opportunity to meet the wonderful, caring staff of the Hirshberg Foundation. Regina Martin was taken too soon- as are many others with pancreatic cancer. Our team thanks the Hirshberg Foundation for everything they do in their fight against pancreatic cancer and for giving us the opportunity to honor the memory of our beloved Regina Martin!
~Christel Schoenfelder, Team Captain
I am the granddaughter of Holanda Soriano, who is the inspiration and driving force behind Team Guayas. In the spring of 2007, Holanda was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She was the gentle, soft spoken, loving and spiritual matriarch of our growing family, which at the time consisted of her 9 children, 32 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great grandchildren and an ever-loving spouse of 66 years. She fought a tough battle and succumbed to this horrible disease in the fall of 2007. She was 88 years young and the first loss to our close-knit family, and we still grieve her departure. Undoubtedly, she was the leader of our pack.
Shortly after her passing, a co-worker told me about the Hirshberg Foundation, their LA Cancer Challenge walk/run and dedication to pancreatic cancer research and awareness. I immediately felt drawn to the Hirshberg Foundation’s mission and knew this was our avenue to honor my grandmother and take part in the fight against pancreatic cancer. We have participated in the LA Cancer Challenge since 2007, initially participating as individuals and later as Team Guayas. Our first costume was just wearing purple wings and we’ve worn them every year since. Kids will run up to us and ask, “What are you? Butterflies? Fairies?” We’ve decided we are Butter Fairies!
~Melissa Machuca, Team Captain
In loving memory of our mother Beatriz Hernandez, 1950-2012. Ricky and Franky, Betty’s Boys, will be running the 10K portion of the LACC Race with all of their will power and strength to honor the memory of their beloved mother who taught them how to be who they are today. Through her life and while in treatment she showed them that nothing, not even pancreatic cancer, can crush one’s own spirit or strength and for that they are both forever grateful. Thank you mom for everything, we love you.
Team Slick was created last year (2012) in honor of my father-in-law, Alan Goldman. He was known as Slick. He passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011, only 17 days after he found out he had it. Our team is small but full of energy and our family always likes to remember how awesome he was and being part of LACC helps us to do so.
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