ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – September is a month that recognizes an illness that has impacted so many people and local organizers are getting ready for next week’s 5K run for Averi Quinonez.
Allan Espina is the organizer and supporter of the Averi 5k Memorial Run and is ready for year two of the run.
“The 5k next week will be a memorial 5k. Last year we ran a 5k to honor and benefit Averi Quinonez she is 6 years old and diagnosed with Osteosarcoma when she was 4. Sadly she passed away 3 weeks ago and we are doing this to honor her,” Espina said.
According to Saint Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, pediatric cancer is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14.
“It’s very hard to think about a little girl going through these things, you always hear about cancer in the community,” Espina said.
Back in 2012 former President Barack Obama proclaimed September as National Childhood Cancer Awareness month to bring awarness to pediatric cancer.
“It’s very common but is really heart breaking if you hear that it has stricken kids like Averi,” Espina said.
This is the West Texas Gazelles of Odessa’s second annual 5K run. Last year’s 5K raised $4, 310 dollars to support Averi. All of that money was donated to families like Avi Quinonez–Averi’s father.
“Her dad Avi, who is a fellow runner with West Texas Gazelles of Odessa decided the benefit of the 5k. All registrations, all profits from the 5k will go to a fund that will benefit cancer-stricken kids of West Texas,” Espina said.
Organizer Allen Espina says holding a 5K run can be emotional but it’s all about the bigger picture.
“We certainly don’t want to do a memorial run because it means that someone passed away but if this is something we can do to help those families going through the same things that basically what Avi,” Espina said.
Espina encourages families with children who have cancer not to give up, because the community wants to give them support.
“Hang in there. We’re just very happy to be able to do this thing to help and let the community know there are activities in the area that would help people that might be in need,” Espina said.