“Every time I’d come home from school, you could see how much sicker she was,’’ said Luz Fernanda, who is named after her mother. “It was very hard, but now she is going into her fourth year in remission and I think she’s in the best shape she has ever been.’’
A marketing assistant at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, Luz Fernanda, now 22, said that she wants to give back to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for helping her mom and family over a rough patch.
Luz Fernanda, who was a sprinter on the track team at Walter Panas High School, said she’s not accustomed to running long distances, but has been training with the Leukemia Lymphoma Society once a week and runs on her own in the mornings or evenings at least three times a week. She’s now up to mile 6.
Before she can get to San Francisco to run the grueling 26-mile Nike Women’s Marathon on October 16, Luz has another hurdle to overcome: raising the money. She’s hoping that Christmas in July will land her in San Francisco in the fall. To raise money for the research and the pay for the trip, Luz will be holding “Jingle Bell July,” a Christmas-themed fund raising event complete with Christmas tree and mistletoe. The event, hosted by The Division Street Grill in Peekskill, will take place on Tuesday, July 12, from 6 PM to 9 PM. She hopes to raise $3,200. Most of it will go to fund cancer research.
The elder Luz, who works in the radiology department at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, said that this is her daughter’s way of showing support.
“From the first time she heard about this (race) she was very excited,’’ said Luz Maria Corona. “Because she was so far away in school she couldn’t be there when I was in treatment so I think this is her way of paying it back. I’m very proud of her.’’
Hudson Valley Hospital President John Federspiel said that the Corona family’s battle with lymphoma became a hospital-wide cause after Luz Maria was diagnosed. The entire Corona family works at the Hospital including Luz Maria, her husband Roberto and the two children Luz and her younger sister Cynthia.
“The Corona family is part of our family here at Hudson Valley Hospital Center and we have all been very supportive of their efforts,’’ said Federspiel. “We encourage our employees to become involved in the community and we are very proud of Luz.’’
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training has trained nearly half a million runners, walkers, triathletes, cyclists and hikers and has raised over $1 billion to fund cancer research. Over the course of 4-5 months, certified coaches organize weekly group runs to prepare competitors for the event. Each participant is also assigned a mentor to offer assistance in fundraising.
To learn more about Luz’s story and fundraising efforts visit her fundraising page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/
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Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor. NY provides quality, comprehensive medical care and state-of-the-