Jenny Bealmear posted her personal story about pancreatic cancer on her LA Cancer Challenge fundraising page. Her story immediately captured the hearts of the Hirshberg Foundation staff and a certain buzz began! We not only had another hero for our cause- we were gaining a Super Hero! Her story is a wonderful example of creative fundraising combined with heartwarming passion and a wonderful sense of humor. We couldn’t help but want share this young woman’s motivating journey with all of our readers!
Jennifer started out ready to jog for a cause that’s become dear to her heart. She signed up for the 2012 LACC 5K/10K to honor the memory of her Grandpa whom she’d lost to pancreatic cancer nearly 5 years ago. She was welcomed with open arms at her first Hirshberg event and in all honesty Jenny Bealmear became Wonder Woman by name at The Hirshberg Foundation offices! For over a decade one of the very unique and fun aspects of the LA Cancer Challenge has been the masses of people walking and running at this family friendly event, all dressed up for Halloween. It’s fun for the kids and often it’s even more fun for the adults! Jenny made it special in a new way this year for all of us.
On her fundraising page she wrote, “In 2008 my grandpa lost his fight against pancreatic cancer. One day he had back pain and two weeks later he was gone. At that time I had no idea how strong and fast-acting pancreatic cancer could be. Now I do. And it’s because of my grandpa that I’ve decided to run the LA Cancer Challenge 10K race on October 28th to support pancreatic cancer research. No one should be faced with any cancer, let alone a cancer that is not well known and seems to come out of nowhere to attack. This is where I need your help. My goal is to raise $2,500 for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research (the host of the LA Cancer Challenge) before October 28, 2012. They support research, symposiums, awareness efforts, and even provide financial assistance for patients. These are all things that could have helped my grandpa. If I reach my goal of $2,500 I will run the race dressed up as Wonder Woman, and yes, I will provide pictures! –Jennifer”
In return for donations Jennifer offered to put the name, a photo, or even a photo with a caption on a cape that she would design herself. She excitedly exclaimed on her page “Don’t miss out!” Even with the uncertainty of reaching her goal, she still guaranteed her donors that she’d wear the names and photos of loved ones on a t-shirt. When she addressed her donors about wearing a shirt instead of a cape, she wrote, “That’s not nearly as fun though, is it?” Her donors responded enthusiastically. She exceeded her goal, designed her cape and raised $3,500!
Even with a shy and humble exterior upon meeting her, her progress uplifted our spirits. We monitored her fundraising total and celebrated when we knew that her cape would be made. She became a symbol of inspiration to us all. On event morning, her cape reflected the memories of loved ones lost. A reminder to us all that the fight is not over. Wearing a cape, stockings, bodice, and even a red tutu for extra flare- she became our Wonder Woman.
Since 2012 Jenny has participated in the LA Cancer Challenge, supported 3rd Party fundraising events and went on to run in the LA Marathon on the Hirshberg Training Team. Jenny’s Wonder Woman cape, at the LACC, uniquely honors the memories of her community’s loved ones and demonstrates the importance of never giving up for the ones we love!