By Iris Vasquez Guerrero
Tickets are on sale now for individuals and groups, for the Lanterns of Love Festival 5K Run/Walk. The event will be held in the TAMIU Student Center on April 9, 2016 from 7am to 2pm. Tickets are being sold for $10 pre-registration, and $15 onsite.
The event is being brought to us by Laredo Cancer Society and the campus sponsor is TAMIU PASA (Public Administration Students Association). Nancy Santos, a communications graduate student of TAMIU is the CEO and Founder of the Laredo Cancer Society who is the organizer of the event. Ms. Santos sat down with me to talk about the event and what she hopes to achieve with the donations received.
Ms. Santos is a cancer patient herself, which is why this organization is so important to her. She knows the battle, as well as the struggles that patients of all cancers go through financially. She created Laredo Cancer Society as a way to provide assistance both emotionally and monetarily.
The purpose of the fundraiser is to generate funds for the fairly new organization, so that they may provide proper prosthetic fittings for patients. The funds would go toward training so that Laredo could have their own certified trainers within the city. Currently any fittings must be scheduled in advance, and most of the time, patients must travel to get fitted or choose a prosthetic blindly. Ms. Santos wants that to change.
Creating a relationship with the people that will be trained fitters and the patients is important because it builds trust. Also the option of choosing out of a magazine and hoping it fits, may lead to many dollars wasted on something unusable. This is a situation I know well, because my own mother is a breast cancer survivor and uses prosthetics daily. Prosthetics themselves can be quite costly, and even more so if they are useless because they do not fit correctly. Traveling to San Antonio to get fitted was the option that my family opted for, but because we had the means to do so. Ms. Santos says that few patients are able to make these trips, so having someone in Laredo that is able to provide the service is essential.
The event that will hopefully make this possible is currently accepting team and individual registrations. Team registrations are $100 for 10 people, and booths are available for student organizations, for $100, which includes 10 registrations as well. Children 12 and under do not need to register, but donations are appreciated. Food will be available via the Dusty Diner for a minimal charge of $3.50 for the buffet. There will also be water and bananas provided for the runners/walkers.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz will open the event, at 7:30am, and the walk should commence at 8am. In addition to the run/walk, there will also be zumba, holy yoga, and a selfie booth. Participants are encouraged to wear lavender, which is the color of support for all cancers, but they may wear any color of their choice. Registration is possible by using EventBrite, or by contacting Ms. Santos herself. There is also a QR Code available on the flyers for the event, which directs you to the EventBrite page.
Ms. Santos would like to encourage student organizations to participate in the walk/run, because it is a family event that will contribute positively to the community.
For more information you may contact Ms. Santos by phone (956) 285-5410. Booth requests may also be made by contacting Dr. Haruna at (956) 326-2613. You may also view the organizations Facebook page for more information @Laredo Cancer Society.