BRAWLEY – There is a new organization making a splash in town — the Brawley Cancer Walk. Aiming to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients in the Valley, the group set up camp Saturday on the North Plaza in front of the Kiwanis Kiosk to promote its mission and take registrations for an upcoming Cancer Walk on May 20.
The event will take place from 7 a.m. to midnight May 20 and will include a 5K race as well as the traditional walk. The group is partnering with the cancer patient advocacy group Between Women, Inc., which will debut its new name at the walk. Reportedly, Between Women is expanding to help all cancer patients in the Valley, and thus is changing its name to Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center, according to organizer Joseph Ramirez.
Ramirez is a self-employed, financial insurance business owner who is spearheading the 2017 Brawley Cancer Walk on a volunteer basis. Ramirez said he is passionate about this event, as he has experienced the loss of his mother, “surrogate mother” (his aunt), and other family members due to cancer.
“Put yourself in their shoes,” Ramirez said when asked about the importance of the Cancer Walk. “They [cancer patients] may not watch their child grow up, or get married. We do without our comforts of home, and try to stay awake all night to feel that discomfort for one day. Yet, it never parallels what the (cancer) patient goes through one day of their life. That’s where the passion comes from,” Ramirez said.
All the proceeds raised from the walk will stay here in the Valley to support Imperial Valley cancer patients, Ramirez said.
Registration for the event is open, and those interested may register as an individual or as a team, said Laura Figueroa, entertainment co-chair of the Brawley Cancer Walk.
Each member is asked to raise a minimum of $100 by taking donations or raising money, Figueroa said. The Brawley Cancer Walk is currently enrolling teams of 15-20 participants to ensure that someone from each team is represented and walking the track every hour for the duration of the event.
Figueroa, only 19, is expecting it to be a lively, enjoyable time, and has secured two deejays to donate their time and skills to the event. There will also be an open mic karaoke time, and in addition, she is looking for bands or performers who would like to perform at the family-friendly event. Those interested may contact her at (760) 351-6934 or at [email protected].
The walk will also include a luminary ceremony in the evening where the luminaries will be lit in the names of cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle to cancer will be called out, Ramirez said.