A time to honor: Family organizes 5k walk-run to fight cancer in mother’s memory

RANCHO VIEJO — Maria Sosa, died of breast cancer in August.

The 77-year-old had waited too long to tell her family she had cancer.

By the time she did, nothing could be done.

She died six months later.

And now to remember her and help others with cancer in the Valley, Maria’s daughter, Abigail Bender, and her family have been working since her death to organize a 5K walk-run fundraiser.

The name of the event is “Age doesn’t matter.”

“My mother wanted us to help others,” Bender said. “She always thought of people first.”

Bender said all the money raised from the walk will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

More than 150 people have already registered for the event.

“What we hear is it’s going to be a good turnout,” Bender said. “It’s going to be nice.”

Anyone interested in participating is welcome to register Saturday morning at city hall in Rancho Viejo.

“My mom always told me to keep going,” Bender said. “This is our first annual cancer awareness run, and we plan for it to continue.”

Bender said her mom chose not to tell the family she had cancer.

And since they were not able to help their mother fight cancer, the walk-run has become the family’s way of helping her and others who are fighting the disease.

“By the time she had to tell us, she was already in stage three,” Bender said.

Bender said the race is not only to honor our mother but it is to help other people in the Valley.

“It (cancer) can happen to anybody,” Bender said. “This is a killing disease and it’s spreading.”

rgarci@valleystar.com