Recently I met with two of my close friends (Richard and Diane Nares) who were excited to share with me a collaborative program that was benefitting a non-profit organization that they helped to create. The Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF), founded in 2003, has been serving low-income families whose children are fighting cancer. The organization’s most recognizable program is Ride With Emilio, a transportation service that ensures all children have access to cancer treatment on time, every time, when no other options are available. Since 2005, Ride With Emilio has made nearly 30,000 life-saving trips for young cancer patients. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment.
What was astonishing for me to learn is that San Diego’s childhood cancer rates exceed those of the state, with Hispanic/Latino children experiencing among the highest. Fact is, more children die of cancer than any other disease, and only accidents account for a larger number of childhood deaths.
Richard and Diane are fully aware of these statistics and have a personal connection. Their son died of cancer. So they understand the challenges faced by parents and other family members who must deal with the fears, uncertainty and medical procedures that come with the disease. Life is both challenging and uncertain.
That’s why it is their life mission to be there for those who can use the support and guidance to work through the medical maze and outcomes. Richard and Diane are living their dream of being advocates for cancer victims and their families.
However, to keep the dream alive and to continue to be advocates requires financial support. That’s why Richard and Diane were excited to share with me a collaborative effort. In 2015 Cheryl and James Sheremeta, head running coaches, learned of the Emilio Nares Foundation and decided to embark on a mutually rewarding venture. Cheryl and James formed the Cheetah Charity Runners (CCR) to raise funds for the Emilio Nares Foundation.
Now they have started to spread the message and enlist others to join the cause. Cheryl and James hope to grow their running team who will contribute to the cause as well as find sponsors for their upcoming marathon events. Cheryl and James have already developed a program schedule for runners who love to run and who believe in supporting an important cause.
Cheryl Sheremeta, CCR coach, estimates the team will cover more than 80,000 miles this year and will enjoy premiere destination races that include the Kauai Half Marathon on Sept. 4, 2016 and the Dublin Marathon on Oct. 30, 2016. The goal is to raise $100,000 for ENF programs.
Cheryl and James are very dedicated to this cause and want to grow awareness for what they believe is a life changing experience and commitment. From experience, they have seen runners join the team and embark on personal and professional growth. According to Cheryl, “We have seen runners who’ve grown physically, mentally and philanthropically. It’s an amazing journey. We want others to join and share in this life altering and giving adventure.”
What I also learned is that many of the Team members were novice runners; they weren’t experts. Cheryl and James are talented and skilled coaches who are qualified to groom runners who feel the urge. To learn more, please visit www.CheetahCharityRunners.org.