By Christina Santoro, Team Captain
On August 18, 2010 at 7:34 am, our Mother Lana took her last breath after a short two-month battle with pancreatic cancer. She passed peacefully in her own home surrounded by her family and a mountain of love. It was the most profound experience of all of our lives and we all felt incredibly blessed to be a part of her passing, as we were her life. Her diagnosis was completely unexpected and as indescribably difficult as those two months were, we were so moved by the enormous outreach of love and support we all received from family, friends and even strangers. Our mother received countless cards, letters, emails and phone calls during that time from people whose lives she had touched and she was incredibly moved by each of them. We learned during this time that not only does it take a village to live and thrive; it takes a village of love and support to transition.
Upon her passing, we knew that we wanted to find a special way to keep her memory alive and at the same time support cancer research and the countless others riddled with the horrible disease. We were very happy to cross paths with the Hirshberg Foundation and we immediately signed up for the 2010 L.A. Cancer Challenge. The love and support we had felt during this dark, difficult time continued with an outpouring of support for this beautiful walk and it has now become an annual tradition that we all look forward to participating in. This Foundation and walk have been instrumental in helping our family grieve and give back the love we received during this difficult time. We know that it is LOVE that got us through and it is love that will bring a cure to this epidemic. We thank the Hirshberg Foundation for all of their beautiful work and we feel blessed to be a part of something so important. Today, we are 60 members strong and when we walk, we honor our mother and her beautiful memory, her funny spirit and her love for all people.